Untangling Jurisdictional Complexities for Crew Labour Regulations on Fishing Vessels in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean
The transnational nature of seafood supply chains, including different jurisdictions with varying degrees of responsibility and opportunity, creates a high risk for labour abuse. The ratification of the International Labour Organization’s Work in Fishing Convention, C188, has been low, making the enforcement of national labour regulations very important. This article summarises national labour regulations of key flag States that fish in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean and compare these regulations to C188. The findings highlight the gaps between national regulations and international labour standards. Although the primary responsibility for crew labour standards lies with the flag State, tools at the coastal, crew, port and market State levels are introduced that could support better protection of fishing crew. While the legal infrastructure to address labour issues on fishing vessels exists in theory, more work is needed to increase the performance, enforcement, monitoring and accountability of the existing regulations.