18 February 2022 — Seafarers in fishing: Facing persistent challenges throughout the pandemic
COVID-19 has intensified working conditions on industrial fishing boats, with migrant workers being particularly impacted. Read more at Transforming Society.
The Covid outbreak in December-January centered among seafood workers described in the 8 January 2021 blog (below) provoked us to publish this essay for The Conversation.
8 January 2021 — Migrant workers in Thailand and COVID-19
The Work at Sea research is premised on the idea that work on fishing vessels cannot be separated from the global production network for seafood more broadly, which includes transportation, processing, and retailing. Workers in seafood processing, transportation and other ancillary activities are often also migrant workers, who often experience obstacles in access to health care and social security, and other vulnerabilities related to their precarious status in the countries where they work.
A major outbreak of COVID-19 that began in mid-December in Thailand illustrates the importance of making these links. According to government and media sources, the outbreak began among migrant workers from Myanmar, in a major shrimp market in the coastal province of Samut Sakhorn, near Bangkok. Almost half a million migrant workers mostly from Myanmar work in the seafood processing and ancillary activities in the province of Samut Sakorn in Thailand, of whom many are not documented—that is, do not have legal status to work in Thailand. Industries in this province process much of the tuna consumed in Canada, as well as other seafood bound for export into global supply chains. Raw materials are sourced from global fishing fleets, including vessels operated from Taiwan. [Continue reading HERE]