The Fisheries Agency of Taiwan forwards cases about the alleged forced labor situation onboard fishing vessels invested and operated by the Taiwanese reported by Greenpeace to Prosecutors Office.
In response to the allegations made in Greenpeace’s report “SEABOUND: The Journey to Modern Slavery on the High Seas” that two fishing vessels flying Vanuatu flag seemed to be operated by Taiwanese and that some crew members accused that their working environment and working hours were different from those specified in the employment contract, their wage was not paid accordingly, and the vessel masters had committed physical violence, the Fisheries Agency of Taiwan had forwarded the cases to the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors Office.
The Fisheries Agency of Taiwan states that after an inquiry, it is found that the operators of such two fishing vessels did applied for and have obtained authorization for investing and operating foreign flag vessels; however, the Agency has no jurisdiction regarding the labor disputes onboard foreign flag vessels. On the other hand, as the situation identified in the Greenpeace’s report seems to have involved a violation of the Human Trafficking Prevention Act, the Fisheries Agency of Taiwan had forwarded the relevant information to the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors Office for investigation so as to clarify the allegations.
The Fisheries Agency of Taiwan reaffirms that to safeguard the rights and benefits of foreign crew members on board distant water fishing vessels flying our national flag and to understand their lives onboard, working conditions and treatments and welfare, the Agency has been conducting interviews with crew members through survey questionnaire when such vessels enter in domestic or foreign ports for transshipments or landings and during High Sea Boarding and Inspection activities. The Taiwan authority does not tolerate the occurrence of violence and physical abuse aboard fishing vessels, and in the case that any abuse or violence involves a human trafficking was reported, the Fisheries Agency of Taiwan will forward such cases to the Prosecutors Office with jurisdiction. If any violation is confirmed, the Fisheries Agency of Taiwan will impose sanctions on the offenders accordingly.
Contact Point: Deputy Director-General Mr. Kuo-Ping Lin
Contact Number: +886-9-88678051