A very interesting article appeared on the NPR.org website: “Was Your Seafood Caught With Slave Labor? New Database Helps Retailers Combat Abuse”
This article discusses the use of virtual slave labor in places like Thailand to catch the fish that we end up eating here in the US and world wide. Here is an excerpt:
The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, known best for its red, yellow and green sustainable seafood-rating scheme, is unveiling its first Seafood Slavery Risk Tool on Thursday. It’s a database designed to help corporate seafood buyers assess the risk of forced labor, human trafficking and hazardous child labor in the seafood they purchase.
The tool’s release comes on the heels of a new report that confirms forced labor and human rights abuses remain embedded in Thailand’s fishing industry, years after global media outlets first documented the practice.
The 134-page report by Human Rights Watch shows horrific conditions continue. That’s despite promises from the Thai government to crack down on abuses suffered by mostly migrants from countries like Myanmar and Cambodia — and despite pressure from the U.S. and European countries that purchase much of Thailand’s seafood exports. (Thailand is the fourth-largest seafood exporter in the world).
For U.S. retailers and seafood importers, ferreting slavery out of the supply chain has proved exceedingly difficult. Fishing occurs far from shore, often out of sight, while exploitation and abuse on vessels stem from very complex social and economic dynamics.
Information like this reinforces the important of supporting companies like Pioneer Seafoods to provide, local fresh, sustainably caught seafood. Check our calendar of events page to see when the Pioneer is going to be at Pier 47 selling fresh fish right off the boat.
Click here to read the full article on NPR.