WHAT: Forced labor and human rights abuses of African crews were uncovered on high-tech trawlers by investigators for the Environmental Justice Foundation. The ships were fishing illegally for the European market in banned waters off Sierra Leone and Guinea.
HOW BAD: Crew abuses on board include imprisonment, violence, withholding of pay, confiscation of documents, confinement at sea for months or even years, cramped sleeping quarters, fierce temperatures below decks and lack of clean water.
WHY IT’S OUTRAGEOUS: Estimates suggest that illegal commercial fishing accounts for between 13 percent and 31 percent of total catches worldwide each year, endangering the future fish supply. However, experts admit that accurate figures are hard to come by.