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‘Ghost Fleet’ reveals dark reality in fishing industry

Teddy Hans

The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Jakarta  /  Tue, September 3, 2019  /  01:56 pm
‘Ghost Fleet’ reveals dark reality in fishing industry

Slavery: A 2018 documentary entitled 'Ghost Fleet' centers on human trafficking in Thailand’s fishing industry and takes viewers from Bangkok to Maluku, an island just west of Papua in Indonesia. (Courtesy of Vulcan productions/-)

For most people, Patima Tungpuchayakul’s journey from Bangkok in Thailand to Maluku, an island just west of Papua in Indonesia, would seem dangerous and unlikely to succeed. However, for Patima, it was just part of her job description. She, along with members of her team from the Labor Rights Promotion Network (LPN), was in Indonesia to locate fishermen who had been enslaved by the Thai fishing industry and bring them home. The daring journey was the focus of a 2018 documentary entitled Ghost Fleet, which was recently screened at the United States Embassy in Jakarta. The US$7 billion fishing industry, which often faces a severe lack of labor, recruits needy workers from both inside and outside Thailand. Companies often promise jobs only to forge documents and paperwork and put helpless workers aboard ships, never to be seen or heard from for years, or ever again. In ...