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Department fiddles while crew members jump ship

30 September 2005

Department fiddles while crew members jump ship

The Maritime Union says the Department of Labour's stance on two Vietnamese fishermen who have jumped ship in Nelson is unacceptable.

Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says the Department of Labour has stated in the media it will not act until formally notified by the fishing vessel charterers that crew members are missing.

"In this case, the two missing crew members have obviously jumped ship from the Sky 75, like the ten Indonesian crew members before them, and these two fishermen are probably living rough."

Mr Hanson says the Department of Labour must stop hiding behind legal technicalities and front up to a serious issue.

"The Government must act to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all crew members in New Zealand waters, as well as the security of our ports and borders."

He says that it is obvious that there are problems in the industry with the mistreatment of foreign crews.

"The Department of Labour should be taking a no-nonsense approach to ensure compliance with New Zealand laws and regulations in the fishing industry."

Mr Hanson says it appears little action has been taken on a damning Department of Labour report into the mistreatment of foreign fishing crews that was made public earlier this year.

ENDS

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