22 Oct 2013

Vanuatu government move on South Pacific Fishing welcomed

9:28 pm on 22 October 2013

Vanuatu's Fishermen's Association has welcomed a decision by the Government to make an official stand on claims the group's members are still owed millions by the former Japanese-owned South Pacific Fishing Company in Santo.

Over a thousand fishermen are still waiting settlement of their wage claims which date back to their time fishing for the SPFC company in international waters between 1986 and 2000.

Of the total of 1, 133 allegedly unpaid fishermen, around 45 fishermen lost their lives at sea.

In an attempt by the Government to reach an amicable solution to the issue, the Minister for Justice Jonas James ordered a Commission of Inquiry into the issue and is to hand over the inquiry's report to the Council of Ministers this week.

Administrator for the Association Remy Kuanuan says the report says the fishermen are owed 1.5 billion vatu in outstanding salaries.