The Maritime Union says the passing of a bill today 31 July 2014 reforming the fishing industry is a major step in fixing serious problems.
The Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill was passed today in Parliament, after recent concerns that delays would see it pushed down the list until next year.
Maritime Union of New Zealand National Secretary says the bill is culmination of many years of work.
“The exploitation and abuse which have gone on aboard these ships of shame will remain a stain on New Zealand’s history.”
Mr Fleetwood says the reflagging of FCVs under the New Zealand flag under the new law will improve standards in the industry but proper enforcement was required.
He says the Maritime Union had assisted foreign crews, and advocated for jobs for New Zealand workers in a high productivity, value added industry, for many years.
New Zealand had become the focus of media attention in the United States after a major investigative article in the business press exposed the practices where foreign fishing crews had been mistreated, abused and exploited.
The Union had also met with United States State Department Ambassador at Large Luis Cde Baca during his visit to New Zealand to investigate international forced labour and human trafficking in the fishing industry.
“The Maritime Union will continue working as part of a global campaign by the International Workers’ Transport Federation to improve working conditions and standards in the fishing industry.”