SEATTLE — The Trafficking in Persons Report released in July brought more attention to fishing practices. Solutions require that U.S. policymakers work together with consumers to bring an end to human rights abuses in fishing industries.
It is very difficult to regulate ship-to-ship practices, because the industry lacks transparency of business practices on the ships. This is especially true in developing countries where there are no policies in place and little means to regulate, making it easy for companies to exploit workers. Fishermen are forced into poor wages and dangerous conditions. Fishermen in the Philippines, for example, dive to nearly 100 feet with only a plastic breathing tube to herd tuna. The fishing industry is one of the worse regarding regulations and recruitment of workers who are poor and undocumented.