Inadequate Protection for Fishing Vessels Suffered Heavy Causalities
Fish Protect

The Indonesian government, through its relevant ministries, must step up efforts to protect fishing vessel crews operating on both domestic and international vessels. Despite the fact that the government has enacted a number of rules and regulations, the reality of the situation indicates that fishing vessel crews face numerous challenges. The non-optimal protection supplied is believed to be the result of an implementation gap and a poor supervision.

Moh Abdi Suhufan, the National Coordinator of Destructive Fishing Watch (DFW) Indonesia, stated the organization has obtained 69 complaints from fishing vessel crews in the last two years. “His party received 69 complaints with a total of 199 victims from 2020 to 2021,” Abdi added. The victims were found alive, dead, missing, crippled, and ailing. Correspondingly, Abdi noted that the evidence came from individuals who worked on both domestic and international fishing vessels.

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“Local crew members reported 45 percent of the complaints, while migrant fishing vessel crew members reported 55 percent,” Abdi remarked. Insurance and social security concerns, underpaid salaries or salary reductions, fraud, and violence are all common occurrences reported. “Labor breaches that amount to forced labor practices account for the majority of complaints,” Abdi said.

Abdi emphasized the Indonesian government’s lethargy in addressing the governance of migrant fishing vessel crews, allowing the present situation to worsen, putting fishing vessel crews at risk.

“Due to the lack of technical laws that regulate fishing vessel crews, UU no. 18/2017 about the Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers has been unable to respond to the tumultuous problem,” Abdi explained. As a result, anyone can recruit and place crew members for fishing vessels without official oversight.”The paradox is that even organizations without a recruitment and placement licence can deploy fishing vessel crews overseas,” Abdi explained.

The government is struggling to keep track of the multi-door system for recruiting, departing, and putting Indonesian fishing vessel crews offshore. In addition to Law No. 18/2017, Indonesia also has Law No. 17/2008 on Shipping and Law No. 40/2007 on Limited Liability Companies, which both serve as the foundation for manning agencies to hire and assign migrant fishing vessel crews.

“The numerous overlapping requirements have become a glaring weakness in the administration of migrant fishing vessel crews,” Abdi explained.

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Meanwhile, Imam Trihatmadja, a DFW Indonesia researcher, described the various situations faced by the crews of local fishing vessels. “The rules for domestic are fairly tight by the government.” Imam claimed.

The latest laws regulating the governance of domestic fishing vessel crews are comprised in Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Regulation No. 33/2021 concerning the fishing log book, monitoring on board fishing vessels, inspection, screening, and labeling of fishing vessels, as well as management of fishing vessel crewing. “Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries regulation contains 100 articles that specifically regulate the management of fishing vessel crews,” said Imam. “However, they have not highly compliant the governance of crew from upstream to downstream and have also confronted implementation challenges.”

According to a complaint received by DFW Indonesia, the port of origin for fishing vessels is the Nizam Zahman Ocean Fishing Port in Jakarta, where crew difficulties are common. The ABK infringement occurred in the Arafura sea fishing ground region, also known as Fisheries Management Area 718. He urged that the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, the Ministry of Manpower, and the DKI Jakarta Provincial Manpower Office establish a task force to address the numerous labor infractions that have befallen fishing vessel crews. and develop inspection standards or guidelines for fishing vessel crews.

“We propose that the appropriate entities conduct inspections with the fishing vessel’s crew before and after the vessel undertakes fishing operations,” Imam incorporated. Examination of fishing vessel crews strives to guarantee that components such health and safety at work, payment systems, social security, and logistics on board fishing vessels are all met.

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