24 Aug 2011

South Korean fishing crew set to return home

5:03 pm on 24 August 2011

All but six of the Indonesian fishing crew allegedly abused and underpaid while working on a South Korean vessel will be home by the end of this week.

Thirty-two crew members from the Oyang 75 walked off the ship when it docked at the Port of Lyttelton in June this year.

They say they were beaten and sexually abused by officers and worked 40-hour shifts until they begged for a break.

A social justice worker looking after the crew in Christchurch says they did not want to leave before resolving wage issues, but had no choice as their families need them to return home to start earning again.

Meanwhile, a panel and terms of reference have been announced for a New Zealand ministerial inquiry into foreign fishing vessels.

It is not yet known the level of involvement the six Oyang 75 crew will have in the inquiry.