• November 14, 2015


The Celtic League has written to the Irish Fisheries Minister asking what steps he is taking to investigate abuse of migrant labour recruited in the third world on Irish fishing vessels.

The League also intend to contact the EU Fisheries Commissioner to find out what steps the Commission is taking to tackle such abuse across EU fishing fleets.

Earlier this year the League communicated with both the ILO and IMO about the abuse of seafarers. Since that time media publicity has highlighted that this is a growing problem.

The text of the letter, to Minister of State Tom Hayes, is set out below:

“Tom Hayes TD
Minister of State
Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine
Agriculture House
Kildare Street
Dublin 2
DO2 WK12

11th November 2015

Dear Minister,

I noted reports in the Irish Times recently concerning the use of migrants allegedly as cheap labour on Irish fishing vessels the IT story arose from an earlier report in the United Kingdom Guardian newspaper. (Link to IT article below):


Various allegations were also made about the agencies that recruit these men various nationalities were mentioned but we note in particular reference to Filipino crew members.

The Celtic League has been liaising for sometime with the New York Times and their campaigning reporter Ian Urbina. The Times have been running a series of Mr. Urbina’s articles entitled ‘The Outlaw Ocean’ which chronicles the abuse of sea farers and fishermen in particular.

The most recent article relates the alleged conduct of agencies who recruit fishermen in the Philippines (I attach a link below):

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/ 11/09/world/asia/philippines- fishing-ships-illegal-manning- agencies.html
Can I ask what steps you are taking to ascertain the veracity of the Guardian/Irish Times allegations? Additionally in light of the Urbina New York Times story will you carry out checks to see that Filipino fishermen employed on Irish vessels enjoy proper terms and conditions are not being exploited in the manner outlined in the NYT article?

The Celtic League which is a UN accredited NGO (ECOSOC) has already raised concerns with the International Maritime Organisation and the International Labour Organisation and we intend to reiterate those concerns.

I look forward to hearing that the Irish government and your Department will be proactive on this issue.
Yours sincerely
J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information”
Related link at celticleague.net (NEWS):

Issued by: The Celtic News



The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues


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