Numerous parties still have ongoing efforts to enhance the governance of fishing vessel crews, particularly small fishers. This is due to the 2.2 million Indonesian fishers who work independently in small-scale fishing operations and on local and international fishing vessels. Fishing is also a risky, challenging, and nasty industry with a high level of risk.
Destructive Fishing Watch Indonesia initiated the National Fisher Centre to protect capture fisheries workers, including fishing boat crews and small fishers. “NFC is a platform that connects fishing boat crews and fishermen with other parties related to fishing activities at home and abroad,” said Moh Abdi Suhufan, Coordinator of National Destructive Fishing Watch Indonesia (6/7).
So far, many problems, incidents and complaints about fishing activities related to labour have received little attention from the government and business actors. Several regulations and international markets have required the importance of aspects of social protection, due diligence on human rights and compliance with labour standards in fishing activities.
“One of the principles of social responsibility in fishing activities is to guarantee equality and fair opportunity for all parties involved by providing a complaint mechanism and access to the recovery of victims’ workers,” said Abdi. In this context, the National Fishers Center is present as an alternative for ABK complaints to complement the existing compliant services. Apart from being a complaint service, NFC provides educational services, referrals and management data related to fishing vessel crews.
Imam Trihatmadja, Manager of the National Fishers Center, said that within six months or the period January 2022-June 2022, NFC had received 19 complaints from fishers and fishing boat crews. “From the 19 complaints, there were 63 victims of fishery workers and fishermen with a distribution of 12 domestic cases and seven complaints from Indonesian fishing boat crews working abroad,” said Imam. The cases or complaints that were most frequently reported were unpaid salaries, insurance and social security, fraud, and repatriation. Imam added that the parties most frequently reported in the complaint were manning agents, individual ship owners and ship owner companies.
To optimize and promote the National Fishers Center’s services to the wider community, his party held an NFC launching activity on Wednesday, July 6, 2022, in Jakarta. “Although it is already operational, this launch is important to introduce NFC to the wider community so that they better understand the function and how to access NFC digitally,” said Imam.
During the launching event, a public discussion was held to discuss the form of synergies in the complaint service for fishing boat crews by the government, trade unions and non-government institutions. “Government Regulation No. 22/2022 concerning the Placement and Protection of Commercial Crews and Migrant Fishing Vessels does not yet regulate the complaint service for migrant fishing vessel crews, so it is necessary to strengthen the complaint service mechanism that has been operating by various government and non-government elements,” said Imam.
Director of Ships and Fishing Equipment, Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Mansyur, M.Si, the speaker in the discussion, welcomed the NFC service because it would complement the existing complaint services. “The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries has opened a complaint service for the domestic crew so that NFC is a compliment because of its wider service,” said Mansyur.