Fisheries Agency discussed the policy of promoting WiFi on fishing vessels with Indonesia fishers and International Human Rights Organizations
Global Labor Justice-International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ-ILRF), Humanity Research Consultancy (HRC) and Forum Silaturahmi Pelaut Indonesia (FOSPI) paid a visit to Fisheries Agency on November 27, 2022. Director-General Chang Chih-Sheng of the Fisheries Agency exchanged opinions about recent improvement on fishers’ human rights in Taiwan with delegates of those organizations, focusing on the importance of WiFi installation on fishing vessels for fishers. TFA agreed with organization’s advocacy of WiFi onboard for fishers, and will continue to promote the installation of WiFi onboard.
GLJ-ILRF delegate Kimberly Rogovin had observed that fishers under relatively tough working conditions for a long time at sea, WiFi access for the fishers to contact their family, is the key way to reduce the work pressure. She also had noticed Taiwan’s effort on promoting fishers’ human rights, and thank Taiwan government and the industry for that. Since Taiwan has one of the largest distant-water fishing fleet, she hopes that Taiwan can make greater efforts and to be the role model of distant-water fisheries industry.
FOSPI delegates Nofian Kubalang and Moh Rofiqudin shared their experience of working on Taiwan fishing vessels, explained that communication with their family and friends through WiFi plays a great role in releasing work pressure and soothing their emotion. In addition, HRC delegate Mina Chiang shared cases of WiFi on distant-water fishing vessels of leading fishing nations including Taiwan, and indicated that WiFi for fishers have been recognized by more and more ship owners.
TFA agreed on the importance of WiFi for fishers onboard distant-water fishing vessels. Due to the currently expensive network communication equipment and communication fee at sea, TFA is planning to subsidize NTD 3,000,000 per vessel for the purchase of equipment and NTD 8,000 per month for the communication fee for ship owner since this year, according to the Action Plan of Fisheries and Human Rights, TFA will subsize the purchase of equipment for total 60 vessels and the communication fee for total 110 vessels in four years, to encourage ship owner to provide WiFi onboard. Nevertheless, TFA reminded fishers to avoid the reduction of rest time due to surfing the Internet, causing fatigue and affecting the safety when operating at sea.
In the meeting, Director-General Chang Chih-Sheng expressed the recognition and thankfulness to migrant fishers’ contribution to Taiwan fisheries. TFA will continue to promote WiFi for fishers and have required the accommodation of new fishing vessels to be in compliance with ILO convention 188 to improve the living conditions onboard, setting up Taiwan Foreign Crew Interactive Service Platform to provide information of fishing vessels and onshore facilities for migrant fishers, requiring direct and full wage payment to make sure fishers receive remuneration and protection for their hard work, looking forward to continuing working with different sectors of society to create safe and healthy working environment so that Taiwan distant-water fisheries can be sustainable while both human rights and industry’s need would be balanced.
Contact Person: Ms. Fern-Lan Chen Deputy Director, Deep Sea Fisheries Division