According to these records crewmembers have been beaten with fists and objects such as hammers, are not fed if the catch that day is poor, and deprived of sleep to continue fishing when the catches are good. Medical aid is withheld until it suits the fishing managers. The vessels themselves are often in terrible condition. Two vessels sank last year the 38 year-old Oyang 70 with six lives and the 31 year-old No.1 Insung operating out of Bluff (the port for Invercargill, South Island) with 22 lives in the Ross Sea. The average age of these quota vessels is 25 year. The average age of the New Zealand vessels themselves is 22 years not good and which surprised NAUTICAL LOG quite considerably.
Those quota New Zealanders involved refuse to recognise any responsibility and say they contract out their quota to fishing agents. As indeed did the New Zealand Government itself when the Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley refused to comment on the concerns raised by the "Sunday Star-Times" describing them as "operational" before directing the newspaper to acting immigration head Stephan Dunstan. Dunstan said that in 2006 a Code of Practice for foreign crews was revised, requiring employment deals to "align" with New Zealand standards. He then said the that this was really the responsibility of Maritime NZ. Clearly the "Buck stops here" does not apply in the New Zealand Government - what a bunch of no-hopers!! One tends to wonder just what those standards are under the circumstances - most certainly they are not being enforced. The Maritime Safety Agency did not respond to requests for information.
It would seem to NAUTICAL LOG that any advances gained for seafarers by seafarers in the middle of the 20th. Century are steadily declining and certainly that hopeless International Maritime Organization (IMO), with its numbers and voluminous paperwork, and the various Flag States and Port States could actually care less about the seafarers themselves. Currently many if not most seafarers are working under poorer overall conditions than 50 years ago.
And just in passing let us NOT ignore that much the same goes on from the Ports of the Last Frontier State of Alaska in our own United States of America using old boats and lower 48 crews - who are often non-fishermen.
Please remember the seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia - let us work with India to free them.