Addressing delegates during the start of the workshop on Monday, SAMSA acting CEO Sobantu Tilayi said the gathering was being held in response to a request from the ILO for South Africa to assist with hosting inspectors from Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines who are interested in seeing a port-state fishing/labour inspection regime in action.

The ILO had identified South Africa as a role model for the work it is doing to ensure that fishermen have decent conditions of work on board fishing vessels in compliance with the Work in Fishing Convention, 2007 (No.188).

In fact, South Africa was the first country in the world to formally implement the C.188 two years ago, involving inspection of two fishing vessels – one domestic and the other, a Japanese flagged trawler.

Entered into force on 6 November 2017, the Convention aims to ensure that those of the world’s 38 million fishers working on commercial fishing vessels have decent working conditions onboard, including conditions of service, accommodation and food, occupational safety and health, medical care and social security.

South Africa detained one vessel for violations of the C188 in June 2018, over lack of documentation, poor accommodation, insufficient food for fishers, and poor safety and health conditions onboard.