FISHERY PROFILE

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Skipjack Tuna, Taiwan

Critical
Risk
Other species names
Katsuwonus pelamis
Method
Hooks and lines (Longlines)
Location
Western Atlantic; Western, Central and South Pacific
Governance of water bodies
Multiple Regional Fishery Management Organizations. For more information, see Risk Rating Details.

Summary

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The Taiwan tuna and swordfish fishery is rated CRITICAL RISK due to multiple sources documenting forced labor and human trafficking on Taiwanese longline vessels. When a critical risk has been determined, adherence to Seafood Slavery Risk Tool’s country criteria and other mitigating factors are not factored in the fishery rating. It is noted that Taiwan is rated a Tier 1 country in the U.S. Department of State’s 2017 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report; the country has legislation to prohibit forced labor, human trafficking, and hazardous child labor in place; and the government has recently enacted legislation to protect foreign fishermen. However, a deeper dive into the TIP Report’s analysis and other evidence point towards systemic non-enforcement of relevant national legislation with regard to the fishing industry.

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Geographic Location of Fishery Areas

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Squid (All Other Species), Thailand

Critical
Risk
Other species names
Squid, Loligo spp.
Method
Primarily otter trawls, but squid are also caught by purse seines, hook and line, and artisanal fishing methods
Location
Eastern Indian Ocean, Western Central Pacific Ocean
Governance of water bodies
Thailand’s Department of Fisheries

Summary

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Thailand’s squid fishery is rated CRITICAL RISK. Academic, NGO, and media sources document forced labor and human trafficking in the fishery. For example, the International Labour Organization and Asian Research Center for Migration’s 2013 study surveyed 596 fishermen, 174 (29.2%) of which are identified as working on vessels (including single- and twin-trawl and squid-fishing boats) that caught squid (and other species). According to the report, of the 47 respondents working on twin trawl boats, 30% were forced laborers. In addition, in 2014-15, investigative journalists with The Guardian and Associated Press interviewed Burmese victims who said they caught squid and other high-value species on Thai boats. When a critical risk has been established, adherence to the Seafood Slavery Risk Tool’s country criteria and other mitigating circumstances are not factored in the fishery rating. However, it is important to note that more recent evidence from 2017-18 shows that the risk of forced labor and human trafficking remains high in Thailand’s fisheries even though the government is making significant progress to combat human rights abuse in the industry. Nevertheless, enforcement of regulations still presents a major challenge as evidenced in the European Union’s (EU) renewal of a yellow card for inaction on illegal fishing. Thailand was first cited with an EU yellow card in 2015. While the U.S. Department of State’s 2018 Trafficking in Persons report upgrades Thailand’s rating from Tier 2 Watch List to Tier 2 in recognition of the Government’s substantial efforts, it also states that significant challenges remain in the fishing industry. In addition, the 2018 Global Slavery Index’s new Fisheries analysis rates Thailand’s fishing industry as having a high risk of modern slavery. The Risk Tool team will continue to monitor reform and enforcement efforts in Thailand and encourages Risk Tool users to evaluate current information when conducting their due diligence.

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Geographic Location of Fishery Areas

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Yellowfin Tuna, Taiwan

Critical
Risk
Other species names
Thunnus albacares
Method
Hooks and lines (Longlines)
Location
Eastern Atlantic; Eastern Indian Ocean; Eastern Pacific; Western and Central Indian Ocean; Western Atlantic; Western, Central and South Pacific
Governance of water bodies
Multiple Regional Fishery Management Organizations. For more information, see Risk Rating Details.

Summary

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The Taiwan tuna and swordfish fishery is rated CRITICAL RISK due to multiple sources documenting forced labor and human trafficking on Taiwanese longline vessels. When a critical risk has been determined, adherence to Seafood Slavery Risk Tool’s country criteria and other mitigating factors are not factored in the fishery rating. It is noted that Taiwan is rated a Tier 1 country in the U.S. Department of State’s 2017 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report; the country has legislation to prohibit forced labor, human trafficking, and hazardous child labor in place; and the government has recently enacted legislation to protect foreign fishermen. However, a deeper dive into the TIP Report’s analysis and other evidence point towards systemic non-enforcement of relevant national legislation with regard to the fishing industry.

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Geographic Location of Fishery Areas

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Atlantic Bluefin Tuna, Taiwan

Critical
Risk
Other species names
Thunnus thynnus
Method
Hooks and lines (Longlines)
Location
Eastern Atlantic; Western and Central Atlantic; Western Atlantic; Western Mediterranean (Tyrrhenian and Liguria Seas & Strait of Sicily)
Governance of water bodies
Multiple Regional Fishery Management Organizations. For more information, see Risk Rating Details.

Summary

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The Taiwan tuna and swordfish fishery is rated CRITICAL RISK due to multiple sources documenting forced labor and human trafficking on Taiwanese longline vessels. When a critical risk has been determined, adherence to Seafood Slavery Risk Tool’s country criteria and other mitigating factors are not factored in the fishery rating. It is noted that Taiwan is rated a Tier 1 country in the U.S. Department of State’s 2017 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report; the country has legislation to prohibit forced labor, human trafficking, and hazardous child labor in place; and the government has recently enacted legislation to protect foreign fishermen. However, a deeper dive into the TIP Report’s analysis and other evidence point towards systemic non-enforcement of relevant national legislation with regard to the fishing industry.

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Geographic Location of Fishery Areas

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Southern Bluefin Tuna, Taiwan

Critical
Risk
Other species names
Thunnus maccoyii
Method
Hooks and lines (Longlines)
Location
Eastern Indian Ocean; Western, Central and South Pacific
Governance of water bodies
Multiple Regional Fishery Management Organizations. For more information, see Risk Rating Details.

Summary

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The Taiwan tuna and swordfish fishery is rated CRITICAL RISK due to multiple sources documenting forced labor and human trafficking on Taiwanese longline vessels. When a critical risk has been determined, adherence to Seafood Slavery Risk Tool’s country criteria and other mitigating factors are not factored in the fishery rating. It is noted that Taiwan is rated a Tier 1 country in the U.S. Department of State’s 2017 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report; the country has legislation to prohibit forced labor, human trafficking, and hazardous child labor in place; and the government has recently enacted legislation to protect foreign fishermen. However, a deeper dive into the TIP Report’s analysis and other evidence point towards systemic non-enforcement of relevant national legislation with regard to the fishing industry.

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Geographic Location of Fishery Areas

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Swordfish, Taiwan

Critical
Risk
Other species names
Xiphias gladius
Method
Hooks and lines (Longlines)
Location
Eastern Atlantic; Eastern Indian Ocean; Northeast Pacific; Western Atlantic; Western Mediterranean (Tyrrhenian and Liguria Seas & Strait of Sicily); Western, Central and South Pacific
Governance of water bodies
Multiple Regional Fishery Management Organizations. For more information, see Risk Rating Details.

Summary

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The Taiwan tuna and swordfish fishery is rated CRITICAL RISK due to multiple sources documenting forced labor and human trafficking on Taiwanese longline vessels. When a critical risk has been determined, adherence to Seafood Slavery Risk Tool’s country criteria and other mitigating factors are not factored in the fishery rating. It is noted that Taiwan is rated a Tier 1 country in the U.S. Department of State’s 2017 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report; the country has legislation to prohibit forced labor, human trafficking, and hazardous child labor in place; and the government has recently enacted legislation to protect foreign fishermen. However, a deeper dive into the TIP Report’s analysis and other evidence point towards systemic non-enforcement of relevant national legislation with regard to the fishing industry.

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Geographic Location of Fishery Areas

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Queen Scallops, United Kingdom (except RFS-certified vessels)

Critical
Risk
Other species names
Queen scallops, Aequipecten opercularis
Method
Towed dredges
Location
Northeast Atlantic
Governance of water bodies
UK Exclusive Economic Zone

Summary

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The UK scallop fishery is rated CRITICAL RISK (except Seafish Responsible Fishing Scheme-certified vessels, which are rated LOW risk). The critical risk rating for the UK scallop fishery is based on multiple sources documenting forced labor occurring on board UK scallop vessels. There is also evidence to suggest that forced labor and human trafficking occurs in other UK fisheries. When a critical risk has been established, adherence to Seafood Slavery Risk Tool’s country criteria and other mitigating factors are not factored in the fishery rating. Therefore, enactment of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act 2015, and the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Criminal Justice and Support for Victims) Act (Northern Ireland) 2015 are not taken into consideration. It is noted that the Modern Slavery Act is widely viewed as landmark legislation that has raised the bar globally. In addition, these Acts have specific maritime provisions that enable enforcement at sea, including giving authorities the ability to board ships if slavery, servitude, and forced or compulsory labor are suspected. It is also noted that as of February 2, 2018, the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation’s website states that the “majority of scallop vessels now belong to the Seafish Responsible Fishing Scheme.” According to an economic analysis by Seafish, there were 189 UK scallop revenue-dependent vessels in 2015. As of February 2, 2018, the RFS data show that five scallop vessels are certified and six have applied for certification.

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Geographic Location of Fishery Areas

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Albacore Tuna, Taiwan

Critical
Risk
Other species names
Thunnus alalunga
Method
Hooks and lines (Longlines)
Location
Eastern Atlantic; Eastern Indian Ocean; Eastern Pacific; Northeast Pacific; Western Atlantic; Western, Central and South Pacific
Governance of water bodies
Multiple Regional Fishery Management Organizations. For more information, see Risk Rating Details.

Summary

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The Taiwan tuna and swordfish fishery is rated CRITICAL RISK due to multiple sources documenting forced labor and human trafficking on Taiwanese longline vessels. When a critical risk has been determined, adherence to Seafood Slavery Risk Tool’s country criteria and other mitigating factors are not factored in the fishery rating. It is noted that Taiwan is rated a Tier 1 country in the U.S. Department of State’s 2017 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report; the country has legislation to prohibit forced labor, human trafficking, and hazardous child labor in place; and the government has recently enacted legislation to protect foreign fishermen. However, a deeper dive into the TIP Report’s analysis and other evidence point towards systemic non-enforcement of relevant national legislation with regard to the fishing industry.

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Geographic Location of Fishery Areas

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Great Atlantic Scallops, United Kingdom (except RSF-certified vessels)

Critical
Risk
Other species names
King scallop, Pecten maximus
Method
Towed dredges
Location
Northeast Atlantic
Governance of water bodies
UK Exclusive Economic Zone

Summary

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The UK scallop fishery is rated CRITICAL RISK (except Seafish Responsible Fishing Scheme-certified vessels, which are rated LOW risk). The critical risk rating for the UK scallop fishery is based on multiple sources documenting forced labor occurring on board UK scallop vessels. There is also evidence to suggest that forced labor and human trafficking occurs in other UK fisheries. When a critical risk has been established, adherence to Seafood Slavery Risk Tool’s country criteria and other mitigating factors are not factored in the fishery rating. Therefore, enactment of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act 2015, and the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Criminal Justice and Support for Victims) Act (Northern Ireland) 2015 are not taken into consideration. It is noted that the Modern Slavery Act is widely viewed as landmark legislation that has raised the bar globally. In addition, these Acts have specific maritime provisions that enable enforcement at sea, including giving authorities the ability to board ships if slavery, servitude, and forced or compulsory labor are suspected. It is also noted that as of February 2, 2018, the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation’s website states that the “majority of scallop vessels now belong to the Seafish Responsible Fishing Scheme.” According to an economic analysis by Seafish, there were 189 UK scallop revenue-dependent vessels in 2015. As of February 2, 2018, the RFS data show that five scallop vessels are certified and six have applied for certification.

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Geographic Location of Fishery Areas

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Pacific Bluefin Tuna, Taiwan

Critical
Risk
Other species names
Thunnus orientalis
Method
Hooks and lines (Longlines)
Location
Western, Central and South Pacific
Governance of water bodies
Multiple Regional Fishery Management Organizations. For more information, see Risk Rating Details.

Summary

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The Taiwan tuna and swordfish fishery is rated CRITICAL RISK due to multiple sources documenting forced labor and human trafficking on Taiwanese longline vessels. When a critical risk has been determined, adherence to Seafood Slavery Risk Tool’s country criteria and other mitigating factors are not factored in the fishery rating. It is noted that Taiwan is rated a Tier 1 country in the U.S. Department of State’s 2017 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report; the country has legislation to prohibit forced labor, human trafficking, and hazardous child labor in place; and the government has recently enacted legislation to protect foreign fishermen. However, a deeper dive into the TIP Report’s analysis and other evidence point towards systemic non-enforcement of relevant national legislation with regard to the fishing industry.

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Geographic Location of Fishery Areas

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Bigeye Tuna, Taiwan

Critical
Risk
Other species names
Thunnus obesus
Method
Hooks and lines (Longlines)
Location
Eastern Atlantic; Eastern Indian Ocean; Eastern Pacific; Northeast Pacific; Western and Central Indian Ocean; Western Atlantic; Western and Central Atlantic; Western, Central and South Pacific
Governance of water bodies
Multiple Regional Fishery Management Organizations. For more information, see Risk Rating Details.

Summary

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The Taiwan tuna and swordfish fishery is rated CRITICAL RISK due to multiple sources documenting forced labor and human trafficking on Taiwanese longline vessels. When a critical risk has been determined, adherence to Seafood Slavery Risk Tool’s country criteria and other mitigating factors are not factored in the fishery rating. It is noted that Taiwan is rated a Tier 1 country in the U.S. Department of State’s 2017 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report; the country has legislation to prohibit forced labor, human trafficking, and hazardous child labor in place; and the government has recently enacted legislation to protect foreign fishermen. However, a deeper dive into the TIP Report’s analysis and other evidence point towards systemic non-enforcement of relevant national legislation with regard to the fishing industry.

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Geographic Location of Fishery Areas

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Cuttlefish and bobtail squid, Thailand

Critical
Risk
Other species names
Cuttlefish and bobtail squid, Sepiidae, Sepiolidae spp.
Method
Primarily otter trawls, but squid are also caught by purse seines, hook and line, and artisanal fishing methods
Location
Eastern Indian Ocean, Western Central Pacific Ocean
Governance of water bodies
Thailand’s Department of Fisheries

Summary

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Thailand’s squid fishery is rated CRITICAL RISK. Academic, NGO, and media sources document forced labor and human trafficking in the fishery. For example, the International Labour Organization and Asian Research Center for Migration’s 2013 study surveyed 596 fishermen, 174 (29.2%) of which are identified as working on vessels (including single- and twin-trawl and squid-fishing boats) that caught squid (and other species). According to the report, of the 47 respondents working on twin trawl boats, 30% were forced laborers. In addition, in 2014-15, investigative journalists with The Guardian and Associated Press interviewed Burmese victims who said they caught squid and other high-value species on Thai boats. When a critical risk has been established, adherence to the Seafood Slavery Risk Tool’s country criteria and other mitigating circumstances are not factored in the fishery rating. However, it is important to note that more recent evidence from 2017-18 shows that the risk of forced labor and human trafficking remains high in Thailand’s fisheries even though the government is making significant progress to combat human rights abuse in the industry. Nevertheless, enforcement of regulations still presents a major challenge as evidenced in the European Union’s (EU) renewal of a yellow card for inaction on illegal fishing. Thailand was first cited with an EU yellow card in 2015. While the U.S. Department of State’s 2018 Trafficking in Persons report upgrades Thailand’s rating from Tier 2 Watch List to Tier 2 in recognition of the Government’s substantial efforts, it also states that significant challenges remain in the fishing industry. In addition, the 2018 Global Slavery Index’s new Fisheries analysis rates Thailand’s fishing industry as having a high risk of modern slavery. The Risk Tool team will continue to monitor reform and enforcement efforts in Thailand and encourages Risk Tool users to evaluate current information when conducting their due diligence.

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Geographic Location of Fishery Areas

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Bigfin reef squid, Thailand

Critical
Risk
Other species names
Bigfin reef squid, Sepioteuthis lessoniana
Method
Primarily otter trawls, but squid are also caught by purse seines, hook and line, and artisanal fishing methods
Location
Eastern Indian Ocean, Western Central Pacific Ocean
Governance of water bodies
Thailand’s Department of Fisheries

Summary

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Thailand’s squid fishery is rated CRITICAL RISK. Academic, NGO, and media sources document forced labor and human trafficking in the fishery. For example, the International Labour Organization and Asian Research Center for Migration’s 2013 study surveyed 596 fishermen, 174 (29.2%) of which are identified as working on vessels (including single- and twin-trawl and squid-fishing boats) that caught squid (and other species). According to the report, of the 47 respondents working on twin trawl boats, 30% were forced laborers. In addition, in 2014-15, investigative journalists with The Guardian and Associated Press interviewed Burmese victims who said they caught squid and other high-value species on Thai boats. When a critical risk has been established, adherence to the Seafood Slavery Risk Tool’s country criteria and other mitigating circumstances are not factored in the fishery rating. However, it is important to note that more recent evidence from 2017-18 shows that the risk of forced labor and human trafficking remains high in Thailand’s fisheries even though the government is making significant progress to combat human rights abuse in the industry. Nevertheless, enforcement of regulations still presents a major challenge as evidenced in the European Union’s (EU) renewal of a yellow card for inaction on illegal fishing. Thailand was first cited with an EU yellow card in 2015. While the U.S. Department of State’s 2018 Trafficking in Persons report upgrades Thailand’s rating from Tier 2 Watch List to Tier 2 in recognition of the Government’s substantial efforts, it also states that significant challenges remain in the fishing industry. In addition, the 2018 Global Slavery Index’s new Fisheries analysis rates Thailand’s fishing industry as having a high risk of modern slavery. The Risk Tool team will continue to monitor reform and enforcement efforts in Thailand and encourages Risk Tool users to evaluate current information when conducting their due diligence.

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Geographic Location of Fishery Areas

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Fishmeal, Multiple Species, Thailand

Critical
Risk
Other species names
Biomass, “trash fish,” feed fish
Method
Single and twin trawl, purse seine
Location
Multiple Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs)/territorial waters, including Thai, Indonesia, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea (PNG) EEZs; High Seas
Governance of water bodies
RFMOs include: Asia Pacific Fisheries Commission (APFIC), Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT), Southern Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement (SIOFA)

Summary

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The Thai fishmeal fishery is rated CRITICAL RISK based on multiple sources documenting a direct link between the use of forced labor on board Thai-flagged vessels off-loading “trash fish” in Thai ports that is then used in the production of fishmeal (for feed) at Thai fishmeal facilities. There is also substantial evidence that forced labor and human trafficking are pervasive on a systemic scale in the Thai fishing industry. Forced labor and human trafficking are associated, in particular, with long-distance, deep-sea vessels, often using transshipment. Some of these vessels have been documented to fish for “trash fish” (mixed species) for fishmeal production in Thailand. Other evidence relates to higher value species or “fishing” in general. When a critical risk has been established, adherence to the Seafood Slavery Risk Tool’s country criteria and other mitigating circumstances are not factored in the fishery rating. However, it is important to note that more recent evidence from 2017-18 shows that the risk of forced labor and human trafficking remains high in Thailand’s fisheries even though the government is making significant progress to combat human rights abuse in the industry. Nevertheless, enforcement of regulations still presents a major challenge as evidenced in the European Union’s (EU) renewal of a yellow card for inaction on illegal fishing. Thailand was first cited with an EU yellow card in 2015. While the U.S. Department of State’s 2018 Trafficking in Persons report upgrades Thailand’s rating from Tier 2 Watch List to Tier 2 in recognition of the Government’s substantial efforts, it also states that significant challenges remain in the fishing industry. In addition, the 2018 Global Slavery Index’s new Fisheries analysis rates Thailand’s fishing industry as having a high risk of modern slavery. The Risk Tool team will continue to monitor reform and enforcement efforts in Thailand and encourages Risk Tool users to evaluate current information when conducting their due diligence.

Download Fishery Profile

Geographic Location of Fishery Areas