Pacific: Human Rights at Sea report highlights alleged fisheries abuses and related deaths

Screenshot of 'Fisheries Abuses and Related Deaths at Sea in the Pacific Region' front page.A new report by Human Rights at Sea, Investigative Report and Case Study - Fisheries Abuses and Related Deaths at Sea in the Pacific Region, cites the occurrence of potential human rights abuses occurring in the fishing industry in the Pacific region and, in particular, the alleged disappearance of fisheries observers. 

Two companies are names in the report: Gilontas and Rocmar Seafood. Business & Human Rights Resource invited these companies to respond to the allegations raised in the Human Rights at Sea report about potential human rights abuses occurring in their supply chains. Both companies responded - their responses are linked below. The original Human Rights at Sea report is also linked below.

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Company response
13 February 2018

Gilontas' Response

Author: Gilontas

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Gilontas to respond to concerns raised in the Human Rights at Sea, Investigative Report and Case Study - Fisheries Abuses and Related Deaths at Sea in the Pacific Region, which cites the occurrence of potential human rights abuses occurring in the fishing industry in the Pacific region and, in particular, the alleged disappearance of fisheries observers.

The company responded:

"1. I have not been in presence of information indicating that there are human rights violation cases against any ship owned by the Gilontas Group.

2. We have no comments on the dissappearance of observer Keith Davis since, according to HRAS' 1 December 2017 report, there is a case still open on that matter. However, please  be informed that the Gilontas Group has cooperated with the authorities that conducted the investigation. 

Panama is the flag state of M/N Victoria No. 168 and its relevant authorities [Office of Judicial Investigations (Dirección de Investigaciones Judiciales) and the Maritime Authority of Panama (Autoridad Marítima de Panamá)] conducted an investigation and, as it involved a US citizen, we understand that it was supported by US authorities who also conducted their own investigation."

When further asked about abuses occurring within Gilontas' supply chain, the company responded:

"There are no human rights abuses occurring within the supply chain of the Gilontas Group that I know or can comment about."

Company response
13 February 2018

Rocmar Seafood's Response

Author: Rocmar Seafood

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Rocmar Seafood to respond to concerns raised in the Human Rights at Sea, Investigative Report and Case Study - Fisheries Abuses and Related Deaths at Sea in the Pacific Region, which cites the occurrence of potential human rights abuses occurring in the fishing industry in the Pacific region and, in particular, the alleged disappearance of fisheries observers.

The company responded:

"Rocmar Seafood is a processing plant that exclusively processes and packs fishing products. We do not own nor manage ships or sea personnel. 

Our personnel works under strict regulations from Panama Labor Code, which include benefits such as vacation days, bonuses, medical insurance etc.  Rocmar Seafood is respectful to all human right laws and regulations."

When further asked about abuses occurring within Rocmar Seafood's supply chain, the company responded:

"Rocmar Seafood is very respectful to all human rights laws and regulation, we don’t have any human rights abuses occurring within the supply chain of our company."

Report
12 February 2018

Investigative Report and Case Study - Fisheries Abuses and Related Deaths at Sea in the Pacific Region

Author: Human Rights at Sea

December 2017

...In the Pacific Region, maritime fishing can contribute up to 10% of the states’ GDP, and provide employment for up to 60% of the population. However, due to the profitability of this sector unsustainable and illegal practices are increasingly threatening this situation.

The complex international law picture has made it impossible to set legally enforceable minimum standards, putting Fishing Observers and crew members alike at the mercy of potentially unscrupulous corporations...

Download the full document here