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Ending slavery at sea headlines key regional fisheries meeting in Micronesia May 13,2019   |  Source: Marianas Variety

The annual Forum Fisheries Committee officials meeting concluded with a headline decision to strengthen the regional harmonized minimum requirements for fishing licenses with the addition of crew employment conditions.

The outcome has already been hailed as “ground-breaking” by the 17 members as well as by international NGOs present at the meeting.

Speaking from the meeting the director-general of the Forum Fisheries Agency or FFA, Dr. Manu-Tupou-Roosen noted that the decision of members would now require embedding in national procedures.

“The fishing vessel operator will now become formally responsible for the health, welfare and safety of the crew while he or she is on board the vessel, and will be required to meet decent standards in respect of salary and conditions for all crew,” observed Dr. Tupou-Roosen.

“This is a giant step forward in helping to ensure that the ‘slavery at sea’ identified in other global fisheries does not blight the Pacific region. It will help ensure that basic human rights are protected for those working in our offshore tuna fishery.”

The chairman of the meeting, executive director of the Federated States of Micronesia’s National Oceanic Resource Management Authority or NORMA, Eugene Pangelinan, observed that “while


© 2013 Marianas Variety

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