Fisherman Traps in SE Asia
When the financial crisis hit, Samart lost his job as a security guard in Bangkok. Preparing to go home to an impoverished area in NE Thailand, a friendly man invited him for a drink, to talk about a job on a fishing vessel. Samart decided not to take the job, but, after a few sips of his drink, he passed out. When he woke, he was astounded to find himself on a boat off Singapore – and would soon be sent into Indonesian waters, where he would remain trapped for 7 years – he was traded between boats at sea numerus times when their catch was loaded onto a larger vessel. This is how some powerless vulnerable people have found themselves trapped in slavery in the fishing industry. Thailand is the world’s fourth-largest exporter of seafood according to UNFAO. Vulnerable migrant workers, mainly from Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos, but also impoverished Thais, have for years been lured onto fishing boats with promises of well-paid jobs, so many never receive salaries. This is starting to change with the biggest companies like Thai Union (a company not a union) is restructuring its operations to protect against labour abuses - but it is difficult to establish how many people remain trapped at sea because they are often hidden and lost in a large ocean with many threats and with many fearing for their life – for good reasons! “Being on a fishing boat is like having your life hang by a thread,” says Samart in the SCMP, other survivors who have been maimed at sea have told LPN that they have seen their friends killed at sea.
In Benjini and Ambon in Indonesia, officials visited these places because of media reports. Rumours got around of a possible rescue. First in 2’s and 3’s they saunted in then as the story that it was real swept through the communities they streamed in from their fishing trawlers, down the hills and even out of the jungle “running towards what they had hoped for, for years: freedom!”. AP
We cannot sit back and be moved by these stories without taking an action to help clean up the industry. Good things are starting to happen – we have to make this the new culture of fishing. Sign the petition by clicking on “Ask For A Sea-change” on the website www.buyslavefree.org
Seafood Gourmet Pie
- 500 gms White fish fillets
- 2 Squid tubes cut into 1/2 rings
- 300 gms Scallops
- Green prawns
- 3 hardboiled eggs coarsely chopped
- 1 medium sized onion diced
- 1 small red capsicum diced
- 100 gms button mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons sweet chilli sauce
- 1 tsp. crushed garlic
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon curry masala
- 100 gms. Butter chopped
- 1.25 ltrs. milk
- 1/2 cup plain flour
- 75 gms. Parmesan cheese
- 1 tspn. Chicken stock powder
- 4 sheets ready rolled puff pastry
- ½ cup flat leaf parsley chopped
- 1 egg beaten
- salt and pepper to taste
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and capsicum and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes or until very soft. Add curry and stir in, then add flour and stir until well combined and bubbling. Remove pan from heat and slowly add milk, stirring continuously. Return pan to heat, add parmesan cheese, Dijon mustard, sweet chili sauce and stir continuously until sauce boils and thickens. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.
- Preheat oven to 200°C. Add seafood, Mushrooms, egg and parsley to sauce then season to taste with salt and white pepper. Spoon 1 1/2 cups seafood mixture into each of 6, 2-cup-capacity ovenproof ramekin dishes.
- Using a ramekin as a guide, cut a round from each sheet of pastry 5cms wider than the ramekin. Place a pastry round over each bowl then press edges to sides of dishes to secure. Using a fork, prick holes in top of pastry. Brush with beaten egg then place dishes on oven tray and bake pies for 20 minutes or until pastry is golden. Serve.