2 Mar 2012

Recommendations seen as not sufficient

7:38 am on 2 March 2012

A lawyer for crew members aboard some foreign charter fishing vessels says the ministerial inquiry recommendations to the Government do not go far enough to address problems at sea.

The inquiry has found repeated instances of foreign crew working on New Zealand chartered fishing boats being mistreated and underpaid.

It is recommending 15 measures to prevent the abuse, including having observers on all foreign chartered boats, and strengthening the code of practice.

Slave Free Seas lawyer Craig Tuck told Morning Report the recommendations will require law changes which won't happen soon enough to help foreign crews working aboard ships now.

Some companies could fail - researcher

A fishing industry researcher says some businesses could fold if the Government adopts all of the recommendations for an overhaul of the Foreign Charter Vessels.

The Government intends to implement a number of recommendations made by a ministerial inquiry, but has not said if it will support a proposal for all fishing crews working in New Zealand waters to be hired under New Zealand employment laws.

Glenn Simmons, a researcher who co-wrote a report on abuse of crew members on South Korean boats, says this would add costs that could be unaffordable for some.

H e says employing crews under New Zealand laws would make the industry more accountable, but it would impact on the economy.