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Issue No:78
  • :January
  • :2018

Samudra Report No.78, January 2018

Analysis / DECENT WORK

Freedom from Modern Slavery

Only shared interest and mutual will—nationally, regionally, locally—among fishers and social partners can help achieve sustainable fisheries


This article is by Ment van der Zwan (Ment@cv-ym.nl), represents fishing vessel owners in Dutch, European and global social dialogue forums. He contributed to the making of C188 and the European Union social partners’ agreement on implementation of the Convention in EU law.


The term ‘sustainable fishing’ is often associated with concepts related to ‘protection and management of fish stocks, prevention of overfishing, establishing fish quotas, and fighting illegal fishing’. Not many would think in terms of ‘people—planet—profit’, which would be more appropriate, especially in the context of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Fishing becomes sustainable only when decent work for fishers is assured, responsible management of fish stocks is undertaken, and profit for the fishing vessel owner is achieved.

In marine fisheries, decent work for fishers—one of the pillars of sustainable fisheries—is linked to safety at sea. On the basis of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea,...

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