‘A fisher’s life, a fisher’s future’ has been the motto of the international conference organised by the Fishing Industry Safety and Health (FISH) Platform last week in Thailand. The FISH Platform is a world leading group of experts involved in safety and health in the fishing industry. Globally, most commercial fishers are located in the Southeast Asian region, characterised by a low level of ratification of international conventions aimed at protecting fishers’ health, safety and working conditions. The Platform considered it about time for public authorities, experts, employers and workers to come together to share experiences in the implementation of such conventions, social dialogue, and to jointly push for the sustainable management of the fishing industry. Europêche has joined the call.
During the plenary session of the European social dialogue committee for sea fisheries held last week, ETF and Europêche adopted a joint resolution establishing benchmark principles aimed at better regulating the proliferation of sustainability labels certifying social conditions on board fishing vessels. The intention is to avoid social-washing labels while stressing the importance of the ILO “Work in Fishing” Convention C188 as guardian of human and labour rights of fishers at sea, which cannot be replaced or substituted by private schemes.
On the occasion of the World Fisheries Day, the FAO and the Holy See joined forces once again to host a successful event focusing international attention on the fair treatment and well-being of fishers around the globe. Europêche, on behalf of the EU fishing industry, participated together with international organizations, government representatives, trade unions and relevant stakeholders in this year’s event titled ‘Labour rights are human rights: working together to ensure the rights of fishers – fighting trafficking and forced labour in the fishing sector’. United Nations specialized agencies in fisheries and their Member states were urged to work together to promote the ratification, implementation and enforcement of internationally agreed social standards to support the livelihoods of 38 million fishers in the planet.