Difference between revisions of "Permit Scheme Facilitating Slavery On Irish Fishing Boats Says Union"

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Latest revision as of 02:27, 14 September 2019


Migrants from Africa and Asia brought to Ireland to work on trawlers under an official permit scheme have a significant chance of becoming victims of trafficking, according to the seamen’s union, the International Transport Workers’ Federation.youtube.com The union gave formal notice on Thursday that it would be taking the Irish government to court to stop the scheme, which it says is facilitating modern slavery. The unprecedented move follows the union referring 12 foreign fishermen on Irish boats to Irish police as suspected victims of trafficking for cheap labour in recent months. The Garda National Immigration Bureau’s anti-trafficking unit has already formally identified seven of the workers as suspected victims, and the other five are still under investigation.


ITF is supporting a number of workers in test cases to try to force the government to act on persistent allegations of severe exploitation in its fishing sector. It said it was aware of dozens of other similar cases. At the end of the notice period, it will seek an injunction in the high court to impose a moratorium on the permit scheme. "We believe the permit scheme is collapsing under the weight of its own injustice," Ken Fleming, ITF’s coordinator for the UK and Ireland, said. The permit scheme that was developed as a result requires trawler owners to apply for permissions on behalf of non-EEA workers they wish to bring in as crew. Previously there had been no legal route for African and Asian migrants to come for work.


The permit requires employers to pay the legal minimum wage but ties migrants to their employers, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation. "Migrants on trawlers here are working up to 20 hours a day and paid as though they were working eight. Rules designed to protect them go unenforced. Fishermen are afraid to leave exploitative employers for fear of arrest and deportation," Fleming added. Some trawler owners also appear to be bypassing the new permit scheme altogether, according to the union. Very few permits have been applied for in 2018, and ITF has collected evidence that owners and recruiting agents are bringing workers in to Ireland illegally via the Northern Irish land border. The department of justice and equality, which is subject of the union’s action, pointed out that the permit scheme was administered by several departments. It added that it did not comment on third party correspondence.


"Any changes to the scheme would be a matter for the relevant Departments with the approval of government," it said. The problem of trafficking of workers is not confined to the Irish fleet. Arrests have been made in the UK in recent months for suspected cases of modern slavery on fishing vessels. High street retailers, who are required under the Modern Slavery Act to assess potential exposure to slavery in their supply chains, have also acknowledged the risk of trafficking for labour exploitation in the UK and Irish fishing industry. The prawn, scallop and white fish sectors are all affected.


The group says that Mr Gove must understand that 'fisheries' are not just about fish stocks but the wider marine ecosystem, and everything and everyone relying on its health. The environmental NGOs say fisheries should be managed for public benefit, with respect for wildlife, which is why sustainability must be at the heart of their future management. Holistic: Healthy fish stocks are essential for marine life to thrive. They should be managed as a public resource and we should take into account the impact of human activities on this environment. Sustainable: Fish stocks are struggling. We need to manage them carefully, allow them to recover and, wherever possible, eliminate the negative impacts of fishing on the marine environment. Science-led: When making decisions about how much we can fish and when, the government should always use the best available science. Accountable: Fisheries should be fully transparent and everything that is caught should be recorded. This allows fisheries to be effectively managed, which means infringements can be properly enforced and fisheries are held to account. Fair: Fishing opportunities need to be allocated on the basis of transparent environmental, social and economic criteria, in a way that encourages the most sustainable fishing. Equivalent: The same high environmental standards should apply to all vessels fishing in UK waters (foreign or domestic).


Don't have an account? Enter the email address associated with your account. We'll send you instructions to reset your password. We’ve sent a link to to change your password. Please check your inbox to reset your password securely and easily. Forgot your username or password? Don't have an account? Enter the email address associated with your account. We'll send you instructions to reset your password. We’ve sent a link to to change your password. Please check your inbox to reset your password securely and easily. Forgot your username or password? It’s not only farmed shrimp where the company is looking to grow, however. Cooke is also making moves into Argentina’s wild shrimp fishery, having recently bought a fresh trawler.


Cooke already has a stake in Newfound Resources, an east coast Canadian company catching coldwater shrimp. The Seajoy and Farallon deals give Cooke around 15,000-17,000 metric tons of shrimp production in Honduras and Nicaragua. "The goal is to grow that. As for the possibility of deals in Ecuador, the largest producer in Latin America, Cooke said the company is yet to see the right opportunity. "We are positive on Ecuador, but we haven’t seen an opening there that’s the right deal. But, Ecuador is a good producer, they have seen double-digit growth for a few years," he said. The big growth in production from Ecuador and also India has seen shrimp prices drop, putting producers under pressure.


Cooke is taking a long-term view of the industry. "We see the upside. The same thing has happened in salmon. Deals that were done in the salmon business in four-to-five years ago would be very valuable today. Cooke plans to get some synergies from consolidating the two companies together, also. Farallon’s business in Nicaragua will be merged into Seajoy’s operation in that country, said Cooke. The company is currently limiting its focus in shrimp on Latin America, but not ruling out deals in Asia in the future. "Who knows what the future brings, but today we want to focus on Latin America.


Also, "most Latin American shrimp is antibiotic free" and there are large volumes of Aquaculture Stewardship Council-certified farms, he said. With its two deals, Cooke sees an opening to increase production of organic shrimp, which is farmed by Seajoy. Organic shrimp make up around a third of Seajoy’s volumes, he said. "What interests me is the organic production. We have a very niche product and we plan to grow that. Farralon is not organic, but we plan to convert some farms," he said. "Seajoy has a large portion of their business -- that is also growing -- dedicated to organic. About 20% of their production is organic and it’ll be 30% by the end of next year.


This is a massive point of differentiation," said Andrew Young, senior vice president of sales for Cooke. Cooke sees an opening to bring farming technology from salmon to shrimp, such as automatic feeders, as well as improve the product offering. "Even though shrimp farming has been around for as long as salmon, the development of farming technology like automatic feeding systems is way behind salmon. At Seajoy, they have really embraced this; they have done all the trials. There are huge gains to be made," he said. Then, downstream, more value-added products are needed. "Shrimp need to catch up," Cooke told Undercurrent. Also, Cooke can put more of the Seajoy shrimp into its global customer base. Some of the farmer’s sales were going to North America before, but Europe has been the main market.


Cooke’s sales network is going "to open a lot of doors for the shrimp, especially in North America", Young told Undercurrent. "It’ll be an opener to have a bigger discussion around us having a larger portfolio of products. ]. Based on the quality of the product and organic certification, a lot of retailers in the US and Canada are very interested, from talking to them at this show," said Young. The Seajoy name will also stay in the market place as a brand, said Young. Cooke has also hired a global director of shrimp sales, Christian Franco, from salmon farmer Invermar, he said. Another former Invermar executive, Andres Parodi, a Chilean who runs Cooke’s south and Latin American business, is ultimately responsible for the shrimp farms.


On the ground, Ismael Wong will continue to run Seajoy and also take on the Farralon farms. "We have a very strong management team we bought with Seajoy," said Cooke. Then, Cooke confirmed he made a move into the Argentine shrimp sector. The company was in the running to buy a sea-frozen vessel from Grupo Continental Armadores de Pesca (Conarpesa), as previously reported by Undercurrent. However, no deal with Conarpesa has materialized. "We have a fresh shrimp trawler in place now, in Argentina. We have started down that road. We’re very interested in the shrimp business generally. It’s one of the top seafood items and we want to make sure we are there in it," said Cooke. The company is currently using a third party to process the shrimp, which was on display on the company’s booth in Boston, he said. So, will the company go into more species? "We keep our eyes open is something fits the niche. We are not averse to diversifying species. It allows us to sell more products to the same customers," said Cooke.


THE shortlist for the 2019 Aquaculture Awards has been announced, with a strong focus on international high fliers. Taking place in Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, on May 29, the awards have eight, mostly new, categories this year and highlight the range of talent involved in the global aquaculture sector. The judges met in Edinburgh on March 29 to draw up the shortlist. ‘It was an interesting day, with no shortage of debate over the relative merits of the 67 entries and nominations,’ said Tinch. ‘But the six judges managed to whittle down the contenders for each category to make the shortlists.


‘We look forward to welcoming all those shortlisted, and the wider aquaculture community, to the awards dinner, tables for which are being booked up quickly,’ said Tinch. The winner of the people’s choice category is to be decided by an open vote. Any individual involved in the aquaculture sector can vote for one of the five candidates who have been nominated. Details of how to vote will be released shortly. The awards’ dinner is taking place at Dynamic Earth, in Edinburgh, on 29 May at 7.30pm. The event follows on from the Fish Site’s/5m Publishing’s seminar on the international outlook for UK aquaculture.


The Brexit process continues, but do the political costs increase? "We are stuck. EU holds cards, sure, but importantly breakdown doesn’t work for them either. When I talk to people in the middle of this, they really don’t know. The EU Withdrawal Bill passed its last parliamentary hurdle, paving the way for Royal Assent. This is the second piece of Brexit legislation to reach the statue book, the other being the Sanction and Anti Money Laundering Act 2018. At least eight more bills will still need parliamentary approval. Bills on trade, trade taxation, haulage permits, agriculture, fisheries, animal welfare, migration and the environment are all ahead. But the efforts needed to secure safe passage of the EU Withdrawal Bill may come with at a price.


Theresa May could have squandered trust with the pro-European Tory parliamentary faction, after Dominic Grieve and his colleagues thought they’d reached an agreement with her -- only for ministers to change their position at the last minute. Not helped by her Commons’ performance where Mrs May sat on the front bench rolling her eyes and shaking her head when Kenneth Clarke accused her of reneging on the deal. Dominic Grieve MP may have used up credit of his own, with Labour MPs angry that he gave them the impression he’d rebel and then backed down at the last minute. "If they’re not going to rebel today, when are they? " Labour’s Wes Streeting asked. The vote was tight and Conservative whips were worried.


They that they cancelled the usual agreement for ill or incapacitated MPs to have their votes counted without having to go through the formal procedure of walking through the parliamentary lobbies.youtube.com That approach could come back to trouble the government in the coming months. Labour whips reportedly said that they would remember it the next time their Conservative counterparts came to them asking for a favour. While domestic problems may be under control, a deal with the rest of the EU is as uncertain as ever. The 28-29 June 2018 European Council summit may not resolve the Northern Ireland backstop issue.


Earlier this month, EU Commission chief negotiator Michel Barnier rejected Mr May’s proposal, which itself triggered a threat of resignation by Brexit minister David Davis. And the draft agenda for next week’s Council summit recommends EU national leaders to prepare for all outcomes. UK-EU talks need to result in a withdrawal agreement covering separation issues, citizens’ rights, Northern Ireland, transition and a political declaration on the UK-EU’s future relationship. Monsieur Barnier indicated that talks need to be concluded by the end of October. And with the holiday season approaching when capital government building close, little talking time remains. And the withdrawal ratification process could be laborious.youtube.com Not just in the UK parliament but also in the European Parliament. In his recent evidence to the Commons Brexit committee, Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt MEP said the European Parliament will need three months to scrutinise the withdrawal agreement.


Multiple World Casting Champion Hywel Morgan is hoping he can help inspire local young people to discover the joy of fishing when he demos at the North West Angling Fair in Castlederg on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th of April. The high profile Welshman has won casting titles at British, European and World level and is the World Record holder for multiple casting having cast 66 rods simultaneously. He is best known these days for his television presenting work and he travels the world passing on his knowledge and love of casting and fishing. His presentation in Castlederg is sure to attract interest from all ages but it is young people who he is particularly keen to ‘hook’.


"Getting young people involved is really important to me because they’re the future and that’s one of the main reasons I coach the Welsh Youth Team," he explained. "We have to actively encourage the next generation, not just to show they the joy of fishing but the benefits of being out in the fresh air and enjoying the water and exploring new places. "I think it’s important to keep the past time going for future generations as anglers play a key role in maintaining and monitoring the environment. The son of Welsh fishing guru Moc Morgan, he first wet a line at just two and a half years of age so has first-hand experience of discovering the joys of angling from an early age.


"With Moc Morgan as a father I had no choice really," he laughed. "The day I was born, the nurse said to him ‘You might as well give him a reel now? ’ and he told her ‘Sure it makes the same noise as a rattle! "I was fishing from an exceptionally early age, my mum ran our local Post Office in the town so everyone knew her and they would all keep an eye on me. "I got into casting by accident, I fished for sea trout from an early age, not coming back until 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning sometimes.


"I graduated to British Casting Association level and the step up was significant, it was like going from driving a car around the village to Formula One. "It was a steep learning curve but I gave myself six months to get up to speed, I practised five and six days a week in a pavilion in the village and after six months I won the World Championships. Hywell will be joined by some of the UK and Ireland's greatest fly-dressers, casters and top angling celebrities at the spectacular setting of Castlederg Castle for the North West Angling Fair. The public will have the opportunity to watch the best international fly fishing tackle producers, professional casting demonstrations and receive expert fly fishing tuition. Free fly tying and fly-casting lessons are on offer with instruction tailored to the specific needs of beginners right through to advanced anglers. "I try and keep my demos fun and entertaining," Hywel explained. "There’s something for everyone, from those who have never fished before right up to seasoned anglers.


The biggest event on the local angling calendar looks set to attract hundreds of visitors this weekend when the North West Angling Fair is hosted in and around the spectacular setting of Castlederg Castle.youtube.com The family friendly event hosted by Derry City and Strabane District Council is free admission and is set to bring together a host of the UK and Ireland’s top fly dressers, casters and top angling specialists. The fair will be open from 10am - 5pm each day of Saturday 6 and Sunday April 7 and will feature appearances and demonstrations as well as interactive opportunities for the public to get involved.