Outlaw Ocean: Disturbing Revelations About the Agencies That Hire in the Third World


Our contact at the New York Times, Ian Urbina, a campaigning journalist with whom we have been liaising for sometime over the situation of mariners and the labour conditions they have to endure has mailed again with the latest article in the Outlaw Ocean series.

Those who followed our page here or the Celtic News site will be familiar with the series – if not here are some links:


Ian’s latest article focuses on the agencies which hire workers in the third world and it focuses on the Philippines. The articles as we pointed out recently have a resonance closer to home particularly following revelations that Filipino crewmen now man many vessels in European waters and there were recently allegations of abuse levelled at the industry in Ireland (see link):


Ian’s communication starts ominously (see below) and you just know the story is going to go down hill from there:

“When Eril Andrade came back from sea in a coffin his body was covered in bruises and cuts, and he was missing an eye and his pancreas. The handwritten note from his captain said he died in his sleep.

For local Filipino police investigators though the real mystery came when they realized that for over two decades thousands of other men from the Philippines and a half dozen other countries had been similarly recruited by a Singapore-based manning agency under false promises, dispatched to sea sometimes for years on notoriously violent and dangerous Taiwanese tuna longliners, then sent back home, often without pay. How could a firm like this operate with such impunity?”


Via the Celtic League which is an accredited United Nations NGO (ECOSOC) I have already pursued the issue of conditions of seafarers working on merchant ships and fishing vessels with both the ILO and the IMO. The further revelations by Ian Urbina and the NYT will spur us to continue that campaigning work. I will contact the IMO and ILO again and with also contact the EU Fisheries Commissioner to see what checks there are on agency labour on vessels in our waters.
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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