Industry response to May 2022 University of Nottingham report

There have been a number of industry statements in response to the University of Nottingham Report. Letting exploitation off the hook? Evidencing labour abuses in UK fishing and the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) report A One Way Ticket to Labour Exploitation.

Fishermen’s Welfare Alliance (FWA)

The FWA unreservedly condemns the reports of abuse and exploitation that were published last week. Such behaviour is deplorable and utterly indefensible. However, it is wrong to assume that the issues raised are endemic across the UK fishing fleet – they are not, and indeed the University of Nottingham report made clear that its findings were based on a small sample that was not chosen at random, so its findings cannot be generalised.

Seafish statement

Whilst the welfare issues raised in the University of Nottingham report are not reflective of every fishing vessel in the UK, the findings are concerning and highlight there is still work to do. We are committed to working across industry and with government to ensure that the UK fishing sector is an exemplar in what a fishing industry should look like.

The Seafarers’ Charity stands ready to support migrant workers in UK Fishing

We stand ready, as a grant funder, to play our role in supporting improvements in the working conditions and treatment of migrant workers in the UK fishing industry and we call on others involved in UK fishing to act swiftly to stamp out the abhorrent treatment of migrant workers and prevent the risk of such poor practices ever becoming accepted in UK fishing.

Report in the Guardian newspaper. Migrant workers ‘exploited and beaten’ on UK fishing boats.

A third of migrant workers on UK fishing vessels who responded to a research survey work 20-hour shifts, and 35% reported regular physical violence, according to a new study that concludes there is rampant exploitation and abuse on British ships.

Byline Times. Addicted to Exploiting Migrant Labour’ The Hidden Hostile Environment in the Fishing Industry.

The transit visa is not designed to be used for fishermen, but for seafarers transiting through the UK to board vessels operating in international waters. But the report says that for the last 15 years, the transit visa has been used to systematically exploit foreign labour.

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