Labour moves on slave fishing

Written By: - Date published: 9:42 am, November 14th, 2011 - 15 comments
Categories: election 2011, food, labour, workers' rights - Tags:

Labour’s fisheries policy will phase-in a requirement for fishing vessels to be at least 50% Kiwi-crewed – this would let the quotaholders charter foreign vessels, which would come here with a skeleton crew and take on Kiwis to do the fishing work – and at least 50% of processing would have to occur here.

It’s a good start that would, in effect, end slave fishing and create Kiwi jobs.

It’s our fish – it should be harvested sustainably to create Kiwi jobs with fair pay and adequate conditions. This policy will create thousands of jobs for New Zealanders, especially Maori who have been disgracefully let down by the iwi elite who run the quotas.

More importantly, the shame of slave fishing has to end and this policy will get us there.

It’s a bit surprising that the Greens’ sea and oceans policy makes no mention of slave-fishing.

15 comments on “Labour moves on slave fishing”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    Just ban foreign fishing in our waters already. This would boost NZ fishing capability and/or save the fish*. Probably be a boost to our ship building industry as well.

    * I’m actually of the opinion that all fishing needs to be banned in NZ waters for at least ten years just to allow the stocks to repopulate. Over that time a a study of the oceans should tell us how many fish there are and how many can be taken sustainably.

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      NZ quota management system is leading the world in terms of sustainable fishing. Under the present system several species of fish have recovered from very low levels to levels where they now become annoying by-catch and have to be thrown back into the water because the quotas are so low.

      More could be done, and probably for some species more drastic action is required in the short term. But I don’t believe we need a blanket 10 year ban on all fishing.

      • Scotty 1.1.1

        “NZ quota management system is leading the world in terms of sustainable fishing”
        or so the NZ Fishing industry keeps telling us, in reality its a sad commentary on just how inadequate the commercial fishing regs are world wide.
        A bit like the Dairy and Mining industries etc, using slogans like ‘worlds best practice’ , sounds
        nice, but really just words,
        Things have improved in the fishing industry,but still a long way to go imho.

      • “NZ quota management system is leading the world in terms”
        I have often heard this quoted by find it hard to reconcile it with reports of a devastated sea bed and recreational fishers who say the fish aren’t there any more.
        Something is wrong and the quota system is not tight enough.

  2. Lanthanide 2

    Sounds like a sensible medium to long-term plan.

    In the short term they could do more: insist that all wages to foreign crew must be paid into NZ bank accounts. This way the government can ensure that appropriate wages are being paid on time and if any disputes arise all they have to do is check the bank account records of the crew making the complaint for verification.

  3. The Greens have been advocating for a locally based fishing industry for some time. Our industrial relations policy would also cover this slave labour issue.

    These two points in our full Sea and Ocean Policy would probably cover the issue, too:
    -Require foreign vessels chartered by New Zealand companies and New Zealand owned or registered vessels to abide by New Zealand law wherever they are operating.
    -Ensure retention of New Zealand control and utilisation of our fisheries.

  4. With a review of the quota system (with a view to reducing quota), foriegn vessels answerable to NZ wage, safety and labour laws, and onshore processing, I would like to see an increase in the ability of the air force and the navy thoroughly patrol our zone.
    The main reason we saw the rise of Somali pirates is that, due to an absence of a government, foreign fishing vessels plundered the fishing grounds that the local lived on.
    If our fisheries become more abundant we will have every fishing vessel from dodgy countries coming here to get a free ride.
    The cheapest option may be the use drones for surveillance (perhaps even arm them?). I am sure that there are some off-the-shelf drones available that will cost a fraction of what the US industrail-military machine will charge.
    We could even build our own.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      I would like to see an increase in the ability of the air force and the navy thoroughly patrol our zone.

      Satellites in LEO. Expensive to put up but a lot cheaper for surveillance in the long run than navy or air-force. The navy and air-force then responds to what the Satellites see.

      • Adders 4.1.1

        WJ, surveillance drones are already manufactured in NZ.

        • Luxated

          Those don’t have the legs or sensors required for maritime patrol, you need much larger aircraft and even then you’ll still want manned aircraft in the foreseeable future. Not to say that we couldn’t do it in NZ just that we don’t currently have the capacity.

          DTB, just how many satellites were you planning on putting up? OTOH you’d need at least half a dozen for that kind of role, and even then I’m not sure you’d get the resolution you need. The other option is do what the Aussies did and build a couple of large radar arrays (JORN), although that did cost a cool billion or so.

  5. Fortran 5

    Why don’t the Quota Owners do their own fishing. They can charter fishing boats easily and crew them with NZ trained crews. This will help the unemployed young Maori men, as many jobs will be available. They can get a grant for training.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      Why don’t the Quota Owners do their own fishing.

      Because they don’t make as much money that way as they do getting slaves to do it.

  6. mik e 6

    Farm labourers are facing similar types of employment situations being isolated and poor framers are ripping them of by putting them on salary and making them work ridiculous hours. effectively paying them as little as $5 an hour!

  7. Celia 7

    This whole fiasco is becoming a farce and the poor indonesian crew are bearing the brunt of it. I understand the son of a CEO from an Auckland fishing company is going around bragging that a deal has already been done with the New Zealand Seafood Fishing Industry and the Govt and that the FFC are here to stay , and that the companys that use them have it in the bag even though an inquiry is happening the deal is done!

  8. Rosina 8

    Draco 10.00am. What about the Maori settlement quotas. Can’t do anything about them unless you have a secret money tree.

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