New labour standards adopted for millions working in fishing sector – UN

14 June 2007

The United Nations labour agency today adopted new standards covering health, safety and social security to improve conditions for approximately 30 million people worldwide working in the fishing sector.

“Fishing is a unique way of life,” said Captain Nigel Campbell, who chaired the committee which prepared the innovative standards, known as the The Work in Fishing Convention.

“This new Convention reflects not only this uniqueness but the demands of globalization in an ever expanding sector that exposes men and women to considerable hardships and danger,” he said.

Adopted by delegations from governments, workers and employer delegations, the Convention will come into effect when ratified by ten of the 180 ILO Member States, including eight coastal countries.

The standards, adopted at the ILO’s 96th annual conference, include ensuring that fishing vessels are maintained for workers who spend long periods at sea and that there are inspections of large vessels on extended voyages to ensure that workers on board are not facing hazardous conditions.

A recent ILO report on working conditions in fishing noted that fishing is one of the most hazardous occupations, in part because of dangers arising from working at sea, the nature of catching and processing fish, and the exhausting efforts needed given the unpredictability of locating fish stocks.

 

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