A number of videos reportedly showing four Indonesian crew members aboard a Chinese fishing vessel begging to be rescued has gone viral in the latest in a string of reports in recent months on the conditions aboard Chinese, and on occasion, Taiwanese registered fishing vessels at sea.
“Please get us off this ship immediately. We are being physically abused here. We were kicked, beaten, and they even threatened to stab us,” one of the Indonesian fishermen is seen saying in the video, with a second man claiming “We are only given four to five hours to rest, and we work for more than 20 hours every day. If we don’t work, they will not give us any food. We are starving.”
In the footage seen the Indonesian sailors say they have worked aboard the vessel for the past 10 months but have yet to receive their pay.
“Our contract ends in November 2021, but we can’t wait that long. We could die here,” one fisherman says, adding “Please help us” in a video first posted on the Instagram account @infogeh according to reports from Indonesia.
The video and claims by the Indonesian crew are sadly far from unusual with many such cases appearing online in recent months.
The majority of cases are reported aboard Chinese fishing vessels, and earlier this year prompted Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi to report on one case in which 49 Indonesian fishermen between 19 and 24 years of age had to work in excess of 18 hours a day aboard four Chinese fishing boats with either no, or little pay.