Foreign fishing crews attending the fair on cultural exchange and labor rights
To better understand the cultures of the foreign crews working on Taiwanese fishing vessels, help them accommodate to the life abroad and enhance their understanding on crew’s welfare and rights, the fair was held on 10 November 2019 at Keelung Badouzi Fishing Port by the Fisheries Agency of Taiwan, Keelung City Government and Keelung Fishermen’s Association. The Fisheries Agency and the hosting authorities arranged events and performances and prepared cuisines from foreign crew members’ hometowns for the participants to enjoy a day of relax and cultural exchange.
The Fisheries Agency stated that many foreign crew members does not fully understand their labor rights due to cultural and language barriers or lack of legal knowledge. Therefore, in addition to facilitating interactions with crew members, one of the main purposes of this fair is to improve the foreign crew members’ understanding of their rights. The event started with a prayer for all the foreign crew members, led by the Islamic spiritual guide, and followed by singing and dancing performances by the foreign crew members.
The Acting Director-General of the Fisheries Agency Mr. Chih-Sheng Chang participated in the praying, tasted traditional foods from the crew members’ homelands and had a talk with the participants. Some foreign crew members indicated that there is no adequate place to keep their valuables and passports while they work on board and hoped to have secure storage on land. Acting Director-General Chang committed that he will request the Keelung Fishermen’s Association to set up such storage or lockers as soon as a suitable location is determined.
The Fisheries Agency stated that, by virtue of this event, many governmental agencies and authorities also have a chance to promote labor rights and marine environmental conservation, with the intention to enhance the foreign crew members’ understanding of Taiwan’s regulations and sustainable use of marine living resources. Besides policy promotions, there were free medical consultation and barbering service at the fair, and the participating foreign crew members received a gift package from the Fisheries Agency as a token of appreciation for their contribution to Taiwan’s fishing industry.
The Fisheries Agency reiterated that foreign crew members play a significant role in Taiwan’s fisheries, and caring for these imperative working partners is essential. The government will continue to review relevant regulations and management measures on a regular basis so as to safeguard their labor rights, and will also keep on improving the working and living conditions of foreign crew members.
Acting Director-General of the Fisheries Agency Mr. Chih-Sheng Chang (Middle, black vest) and the participants in the Fair(open a new window)
Islamic praying(open a new window)
Acting Director-General of the Fisheries Agency Mr. Chih-Sheng Chang (Middle, black vest) and participants enjoyed cuisines from the fishing crews’ homeland(open a new window)