The Indonesian government needs to find solutions to reduce the labor violations practices experienced by domestic fishing vessel crews. The National Fishers Center report said that in the last 2 years there have been 31 grievances of fishing vessel crews received by DFW Indonesia. Frequently reported labor violations practices are unpaid salaries, social security and neglect of domestic workers. There are approximately 100 fishing vessel crew members who work on domestic fishing vessels are victims of such violations. One solution that becomes a preventive option is to conduct a joint inspection of the condition of the fishing vessel crew on port before departure.
DFW Indonesia has experience encouraging inspections of fishing vessel crews in North Sulawesi. The inspection, which was carried out on September 2021, involved the North Sulawesi Manpower and Transmigration Service Agency (Disnakertrans), the North Sulawesi Marine and Fisheries Service Agency (DKP), the Bitung Fisheries Port Fisheries Syahbandar, and the Bitung Marine Resources and Fisheries Supervision Base (PSDKP Bitung).
Considering the implementation of the inspection focuses on the labor aspect, the inspection mission is led by the North Sulawesi Provincial Labor Supervisory Unit (Satwasnaker). Head of The North Sulawesi Manpower and Transmigration Service Agency, Ir. Erni Tumundo said that the heavy point of fishing vessel crew inspection focused on the labor aspect.
“The implementation of the inspection was carried out based on guidelines that have been prepared with 35 check lists of checks that include document checks, physical checks, safety equipment, and accommodation,” Erni said. An inspection of the condition of the fishing vessel crews on two fishing vessels at the time found problems with wages, holiday allowances, employment agreements and social security. “Against the findings of the inspection results, we have provided a notice of improvement to the company,” Erni said.
Meanwhile, DFW Indonesia National Coordinator Moh Abdi Suhufan said there were urgencies, opportunities and challenges in the implementation of fishing vessel crews inspections in Indonesia. “The schedule of departure of the fishing vessel is erratic, so the inspection is only like oversight,” Abdi said. Even though the fishing vessel crews inspections actually needs to be done prior to departure and when the fishing vessel resumes fishing operations.
The results of the inspection becomes feedback to the fishing vessel owner to make improvements in the governance of the fishing vessel crew. “Inspections are meant to encourage their compliance with labor regulations on fishing vessels, not to look for corporate faults,” Abdi said.
So far it has encouraged the Ministry of Manpower to take the initiative to coordinate with the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries to jointly check the condition of the fishing vessel crew on board. “So far the central agency still has not prioritized joint inspections, so agencies that take care of labor in the area need to take roles and initiatives to ensure the condition of fishers on fishing vessel has been protected,” Abdi said. The challenge of joint inspection in Indonesia is the lack of willingness from the relevant authorities to ‘sit together’ to discuss inspection mechanisms that can be a common reference.
North Sulawesi provincial government is an exception because they aware to improve the governance of fishing vessel crews. “North Sulawesi has progress, just need slight improvement of the intensity and targets of the fishing vessel inspections,” Abdi said. Currently, there are 11,544 fishing vessel crews working in the fishing industry in the city of Bitung. Of these, 70.2% have participated in the employment insurance program so there is still homework to encourage and ensure businesses actor to insure their fishing vessel crews.
North Sulawesi known as one of the largest tuna and skipjack producing provinces in Indonesia. Based on data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) in 2018 the number of exports of tuna, cobs and skipjack products from North Sulawesi reached 21.5 million kg, with total revenue of around USD 129 million. Of these, 8.9 million kg of tuna products were successfully exported and contributed revenue of USD 71.9 million.