Skip to content

Brownjohn Consulting

Brownjohn Consulting

Fisheries group allege smear campaign behind new observer report

    A regional fishing body representing eight Pacific tuna nations has questioned the sponsorship behind a new report on observer deaths, that was financed by a UK company.

    The report by NGO Charity Human Rights at Sea has made an extensive list of recommendations as it said observers often have to live with “unreceptive or even hostile crew”, and that “there’s a concerning pattern emerging of observers dying or being unlawfully killed at sea”.

    The cases it investigated include the death of Kiribati observer Eritara Aati Kaierua in March on board a Taiwanese ship Win Far 636.

    The Pacific peak fisheries body, the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA), allege the report is part of a smear campaign because it was funded by World Wise Foods, a British company which imports pole-and-line tuna from the Maldives, putting it in competition with the Pacific.

    PNA’s Commercial Manager Maurice Brownjohn said World Wise Foods had been unsuccessful in its legal challenges on the certification of Pacific tuna.

    “Now the opportunistic are riding on the back of a poor observer to try and promote their commercial interests and discredit the marketing of Pacific Island fish in the European market, I think is an absolute disgrace, he said.