Dark Side of Commercial Fishing

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The Abuses at Sea

There’s something going on in the world hidden from view.  When we think of current human slavery, we may think of the human trafficking going on in the sex industry. But did you know about the slaves that catch the fish in your local market?

Men in islands like the Philippines are recruited by illegal employment companies to become ultimately fishermen. These companies make the men stay in disgusting apartments to wait for employment and are sexually abused there by the man who owns the apartments. While going through the employment process, they are tricked into paying imaginary fees and promised wages that are twice as much as they really are. When they were sent to china to go onto fishing ships, the employers took their passports and only pay them their wage after a season of business. When the men are sent out to sea on illegal ships, they are beaten and boracay-island-349238_1920sometimes left at sea or killed. The reason why these people get themselves into being hired by illegal companies is because they live in poverty and they seem to be some of the only fruitful jobs around, while getting into a legal employment agency can be very difficult if there are openings.

In my opinion this is basically slavery. This shows that there is a lack of morality in a lot of people in this world, but this is not really a very current affair. The state of our world and the lack of reliable jobs and wealth distributed in the world can lead to so many deaths like the one in this article of a man being beaten to death on the job he got to help his family at home. Without enough money, people will do anything in order to feed their families, even if that leads to accepting a job that you know isn’t reliable, if the wealthy would spread their wealth, things like this could be avoided.

The desperation of these men trying to make a living is just crushing. It made me feel so lucky to have been born in this country and era. It made me think about where my fish comes from when I go eat sushi on that rare occasion, was it caught in a net by men who were being abused by their employers? Are there really people heartless enough to watch this happen as they rake in essentially stolen money? On Americans, this has little impact unless you know about this issue, and is you do it is humbling. The impact this has on the world is hopefully a global awareness that people need help. That people are willing to risk their lived to make just enough to live on.

See this NYT article.

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