An ILO-Standard Fishing Vessel Departs For Its Maiden Operation

One of the first Republic of China-flagged fishing vessels that complied with the standards of the International Labor Organization (ILO) kick-started the maiden voyage from Pingtung County on Monday. The long-distance ship embarked on month-long operations in the Solomon Islands.

Chien Yuan Ming No. 88, a distant-water long-liner, is among the first few vessels to be constructed in Taiwan with the introduction of the Fisheries Agency to new regulations in 2020 (November) that satisfy the ILO standard C188 a mandate to secure a fishing license.

The crew members, comprised of a Taiwanese captain, 13 Indonesian crew members, and a Taiwanese chief engineer, would have an average of over 1m2 of leisure space each. Besides, the ceilings of the vessel’s walkways measure about 1.9m in height and permit proper lighting and ventilation.

ILO-Standard Fishing Vessel
Image for representation purposes only.

The crew members sleep in rooms for two to four with bunk beds that weigh about 1.9m in length and 0.8m in width and a folding table and lockers.

The vessel has drinking water dispensers, air-conditioning, refrigerators, and three areas for showering that supply hot water. It is also equipped with advanced surveillance cameras in shared zones and satellite internet for crew members to be in touch with families.

Tseng I-ting, the owner of the Chien Yuan Ming No. 88, mentioned that his vessel permits crew members to eat in an area separate from their workspace and allows them increased privacy, especially at night.

Tseng said that he built a fishing vessel that met the highest international standards as he wanted the fishing industry in Taiwan to be internationally recognized and sustainable.
The vessel set sail on its first journey in Donggang Township.

Taiwan’s fishing industry has been criticized for poor treatment of its workers, comprising migrant workers from Southeast Asia.

Taiwan-based seafood products were included for the second consecutive time in the List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor published by the US Department of Labor last month.

The updated list maintained the forced labour designation that seafood from Taiwan first received in the previous edition of the report published in 2020.

In the meantime, Allison Lee, the secretary-general and cofounder of the Yilan Migrant Fishermen Union mentioned that despite the fanfare revolving around the new vessel, having a few ships that satisfy ILO C188 in Taiwan wasn’t enough for the welfare of migrant fishers.

Lee mentioned that having vessels that meet the prescribed standards was the bare minimum.

Asked if other distant-water fishing vessels based in Taiwan also meet the standards, the agency mentioned that 14 boats were approved for construction, including seven that were licensed.

Taiwan has a distant-water fishing fleet comprising 1,100 vessels, deploying about 20,000 migrant fishers, agency data highlighted.

References: Taipei Times, Focus Taiwan

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