Taiwan fishing industry rep: Wi-Fi on vessels could be disruptive

Taiwanese distant-water fishing vessels
Taiwanese distant-water fishing vessels | Photo courtesy of Francisco Blaha
4 Min

Taiwan’s fishing industry is wary about installing Wi-Fi internet access on distant-water fishing vessels, claiming it could create potential management issues and safety hazards.

The Global Labor Justice-International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ-ILRF) has led a campaign calling on the Taiwan Fisheries Agency, as well as global seafood brands and retailers, to ensure that Wi-Fi is installed on Taiwanese vessels.

Taiwan Tuna Association spokesperson Tony Lin said his organization is taking a slow approach to Wi-Fi installation due to concerns it could be disruptive to onboard working conditions. The industry is not opposed to Wi-Fi but is working out how to do so while ensuring their crews “feel at ease while working.”

“What the industry cares about is how to allow crews to care for their families and work on the ship with peace of mind because the salary earned from work can really improve the lives of their families,” Lin told SeafoodSource. “It is also difficult to support offshore fishing vessels and the management energy on board is limited. If crew members are excessively worried about their home situation, it may seriously hinder their work mood or even lead to occupational disasters or disputes.”

Lin said the Taiwanese fleet is working to install Wi-Fi onboard vessels for telemedicine use only by 2025 while developing protocols between Taiwan and the countries of origin of crewmembers regarding health and safety issues. He said the Taiwan Fisheries Agency is pushing a series of ...

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