Two men, ocean’s part, but with one common goal, Cllr Tudor Evans OBE from Plymouth City Council and Yihsien Chiu at the Taiwan Fisheries Agency

Two men, oceans apart, but with one common goal, Cllr Tudor Evans OBE (left) from Plymouth City Council and Yihsien Chiu (right) of the Taiwan Fisheries Agency

Taiwan working hard to improve safety and welfare conditions of migrant fishermen.

It is said from small acorns big oaks grow and nothing could be truer of the Plymouth City Council life jacket and personal locater beacon scheme rolled out by Cllr Tudor Evans OBE. Looe RNLI coxswain and fishermen’s safety expert Clive Palfrey met with Cllr Evans in late 2015 explaining that if fishermen were equipped with PFDs with PLBs lives could be saved, Evans wasted no time in setting PCC the task of applying for a MMO grant, it was awarded, and the roll out began.  

Other ports followed with their own initiatives and within a few years so did the UK Government making it a regulatory requirement, but who could have imagined the worldwide impact this little scheme could have too.

Yihsien Chiu a counsellor at the Taiwan Fisheries Agency (TFA) based in the Department of Agriculture saw coverage of the Plymouth roll out and got in touch with those involved in the Plymouth scheme.  

Yihsien Chiu said: 

“It was great to see what a few people could do to bring better safety to their fishermen and fleets, I instantly knew that we had to try and replicate this program for our fishermen and provide a life jacket they could work in, not just the ones to abandon ship. 

“Working with my Government we secured funding and have rolled out free life jackets to more than 70% of our 20,000 distant water fleet crew, with more funding allocated we should be at 100% in 2024”. 

“We salute Cllr Evans and Clive Palfrey for the groundbreaking work they did, it inspired us to do our own work to keep our fishermen safe, too.  

“They really were pioneers.”

Two men, ocean’s part, but with one common goal

Yihsien explains that there was a lot of work behind the scenes with people involved in the Plymouth scheme to understand how they chose the life jackets and how they could encourage their fishermen to wear them. 

Cllr Tudor Evans OBE said: 

“It is amazing that our lifejacket scheme has now gone worldwide! I will be forever grateful to Clive Palfrey for bringing this to me and his work with Plymouth City Council to keep our fishers, safe. But to know beyond the UK roll out that followed over 20,000 fishers working on the Taiwanese fleets will be safer too, is just fantastic.  

“Never underestimate the importance of local government and the force for change, and good it can be.” 

Yihsien and the TFA continues to work diligently in other areas of fishermen’s safety and welfare too and more announcements were made at the launching of the new vessel Win Power 707 highlighting the importance of new regulations they have passed and how that has been implemented in the design of the new distant water vessel. 

Two men, ocean’s part, but with one common goal

The press release outlined the improvements and work done in this area. 

“Taiwan is a major fishing country with distant water fishing vessels operating across the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans. To improve the crew conditions in the fishing industry, provide appropriate care for migrant fishermen, and demonstrate Taiwan’s concrete commitment to safeguard and respect human rights, the government is advancing an action plan for human rights in the fishery industry.  

“This plan will tackle the issue by improving migrant fisher working rights, onboard facilities, and onshore facilities. It will provide all fishermen a favourable, safe, and dignified working environment that will ensure the rights and interests of migrant fishing workers and promote sustainable fishing operations.” 

The move demonstrates the pace of change, and we must be bold in making clear that this is a priority for us.  

On 09 October 2023, Taiwan showed its firm position to level up fishing working conditions onboard distant water fishing vessels. The Taiwan government’s Fisheries Agency launched their first new distant water fishing vessel named “WIN POWER NO.707” (IMO No:1024118, MMSI:416009125, Call sign:BL2160) of 2,000 gross tonnage that complies with the Work in Fishing Convention, 2007 (No. 188, C188 -) the vessel is to ILO 188 standards and quietly sailed out of Qianzhen Fishing Port and headed for their fishing grounds. 

Taiwan revised its regulations in 2020 to request all the newly construct distant water fishing vessel to comply with Convention 188 standards. The “WIN POWER NO.707” is the latest distant water fishing vessel flag of Taiwan as class of 2,000 gross tonnage that complies with the C188 convention. The living space, including vibration, noise protection, medical treatment room, bathrooms, cabin passage, crew dormitory, etc., are all in compliance with the specifications of the  

Work in Fishing Convention, 2007 is implemented via The Fisheries Human Rights Action Plan of Fisheries Agency Ministry of Agriculture and demonstrates the determination to improve the working environment on fishing vessels. 

The vessel company installed CCTV in public areas such as cold warehouses, restaurants, salon, and deck operating areas to record safety practices and labour conditions are compliant.

fisheries resource education programme
the fishing daily advertise with us
the fishing daily advertise with us
Follow The Fishing Daily