1 Oct 2012

Serious charges recommended over trawler crew abuse

4:45 pm on 1 October 2012

The Korea Coastguard is recommending serious charges be laid against nine employees of the Sajo Oyang Corporation fishing company in relation to mistreatment of a trawler crew working in New Zealand waters.

In May, Seoul sent a 16-person government delegation to New Zealand to investigate claims of labour abuse and underpayment of Indonesian crew members aboard the Oyang 75.

Last year 32 crew walked off the ship in Lyttelton claiming widespread abuse.

The charges relate to numerous physical assaults and one sexual assault and forgery of documents relating to wages.

Those facing charges include a former manager of the trawl team, a chief engineer, a former bosun and the chief executive of Sajo Industries.

By 2016, all foreign charter fishing vessels are to be reflagged, bringing them under New Zealand law.