human rights sea abuses

Human Rights at Sea welcomes and supports WWF Statement on Human Rights Abuses at Sea 

Human Rights at Sea welcomes and supports WWF Statement on Human Rights Abuses at Sea which was published on the 3rd of July 2020.

“WWF is committed to building a future where human well-being and nature conservation go hand-in-hand. Tens of millions of people work in this sector, either at capture, during processing or as part of scientific data collection. Observers are vulnerable at sea because the data they collect affects the stock assessments and various verification and/or certification processes – leaving them potential targets for intimidation and abuse, as has been reported in relation to some fishing vessels.

The International Labour Organisation has long recognized fishing as one of the world’s most dangerous professions. This includes fisheries observers – trained experts in fisheries reporting who are the “eyes and ears” at sea and at processing plants. They gather data on what’s caught, what’s thrown back, and the use of fishing gear, which in turn supports science, conservation and management activities.

WWF welcomes the international recognition of the dangerous nature of these crucial jobs at sea. Yet increasing instances of fisheries observer deaths, as well as violations of fishing crew welfare, have been reported to authorities and NGOs in recent years. WWF is disturbed by this trend and takes these reports very seriously, and calls for more timely and thorough investigations when such reports are made.

WWF is committed to building a future where human well-being and nature conservation go hand-in-hand. Tens of millions of people work in this sector, either at capture, during processing or as part of scientific data collection. Observers are vulnerable at sea because the data they collect affects the stock assessments and various verification and/or certification processes – leaving them potential targets for intimidation and abuse, as has been reported in relation to some fishing vessels.

When these situations occur, WWF believes direct and decisive action by those who are responsible for the vessel at sea, government authorities, Regional Fisheries Management Authorities, companies and other institutions to address them through all available means – without exception. When there is a life-threatening injury or death on board a vessel, that vessel should immediately report it to authorities, stop fishing and proceed to the nearest port to submit to further investigation.

Results of investigations should be made public to allow authorities and the public to understand better how the incidents happened and how to prevent them in the future. In addition, WWF believes that vessel operators and managers should provide maximum transparency around all aspects of fishing of public resources. Regional management authorities and governments that register vessels must ensure that adequate measures are in place to ensure protection of observers and fisheries workers, and due process is implemented when incidents or allegations emerge.”

Source: Human Rights at Sea

Human Rights at Sea Welcomes WWF Statement on Abuses

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