The Bitung Fishers submitted complaints to Destructive Fishing Watch (DFW) on behalf of 13 Indonesian fishing vessel crew members who had been detained in Somalia for eight months. Worse, one crew member died, and another crew member has gone missing.
The crews had previously worked on other Chinese-flagged fishing vessels that were associated with the Liao Dong Yu corporate entity, with a one-year contract from December 2019 to December 2020. However, the hiring agent in Indonesia and the fishing business where the crew members worked in China failed to offer assurance regarding the status of the expired contract, resulting in the stranding of the 13 crew members of the fishing vessels in Somalia.
The abdication of Indonesian fishing vessel crews in Somalia has been disclosed to the Indonesian government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Manpower, and the Ministry of Transportation since June 29, 2021, as according Moh Abdi Suhufan, Indonesia’s National Coordinator of Destructive Fishing Watch (DFW). He also hoped that the Indonesian government would seek international assistance to deport the fishing crew members who were being held back from leaving the country. “The fishing vessel’s crew warned us that the Chinese fishing agency was colluding with certain forces in Somalia to keep them isolated to a remote place, International organizations are seen to be able to make a significant contribution to resolving the issues.” Abdi added.
“The situation is becoming increasingly tough because the fishing vessel’s crews has been isolated for a long time and without clarity. They are agitated, frightened, and in agony, and they are reluctant to take drastic measures like fleeing or leaping into the water.” Abdi asserted.
Abdi remarked “The fishing vessel’s 13 crew members were discovered working aboard five Chinese fishing vessels affiliated to the Liao Dong Yu group. “Based on the monitoring of landsat imagery that we have at this juncture, there are two fishing vessels stationed in the one mile radius of Bandar Bayla seas, and it is plausible to believe that they are isolated on the one of the fishing vessels.”
A Chinese fishing vessels named Liao Dong Yu 571 was said to be involved in the stranded and death of the victims. “On Friday, July 9, 2021, one crew member with the initials FM died in a labor accident, and one crew member with the initials RS disappeared,” Abdi added.
The PT RCA, which is no longer in operation, carried the majority of the victims of the stranded and missing fishing vessel crew members. The succession of events and incidents have so far been blamed on no one. As the result, the Indonesian government should intervene to rescue and deport 13 fishing vessel crews and a corpse who are still in Somalia,” Abdi concluded.