Friday, December 30, 2016
As 2016 draws to a close Hawaii has done absolutely nothing to end human trafficking in its fishing fleet
Honolulu’s port continues to rank among the highest by value in the country, with $100 million of fish landed — predominantly pelagic fish such as tunas and billfish. … “We are at the beginning of a new era, one that promises to be interesting as our country adjusts to new policies and perspectives,” [Wespac Executive Director Kitty] Simonds wrote in the newsletter. “Change is as inevitable as night and day. Our region’s fisheries and the Council need to be prepared to meet these challenges and opportunities.”—quoted in Civil Beat: Year Of The Tuna: A Quota Showdown Looms In 2017
by Larry Geller
One challenge the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council probably did not work to resolve during its annual meeting in Fiji is the ongoing problem of abuse and slave-labor conditions in the Hawaii long lines fishing fleet.
So as you enjoy your New Year’s ahi, please do not forget that part of our fish is still being caught by foreign fisherman some of whom are working in abominable conditions. 75% of workers in Hawaii’s long lines industry are said to be foreign fisherman who are not allowed to even set foot in Hawaii because they are in a technical state of deportation as they fish.
As 2016 draws to a close, althougth the Hawaii State Government is responsible for licensing these fishermen, it has done absolutely nothing to end human trafficking and abuse in what is described as the highest value fishery in the country.
Surely the ship owners can afford to treat the fisherman fairly while still making their humongous profit.