Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesian government must pay attention to the currently rising issue in trade of Thailand shrimp, which has been prohibited from entering the US and EU countries due to seafood trade chain slavery.

Thailands shrimp products have been banned from the US and EU markets after slave labor by a Thailand company was uncovered, according to a joint press statement of the Southeast Asia Fisheries for Justice Network (Seafish), the Peoples Coalition for Fisheries Justice Indonesia (Kiara), and Research Center for Development of Marine and Maritime (PK2PM) received here on Wednesday.

As quoted by a British newspaper, The Guardian, at least 20 Thailand fishing ship workers had died due to slavery, such as 20 hours of nonstop labor, beating, and torture.

The joint fisheries organizations also asked the Indonesian government to remember the case in 2004, when Indonesian shrimp products were embargoed by the United States due to re-exports from China.

Apart from Indonesia, Thailand, Ecuador, India, Vietnam, and Brazil are also experiencing similar issues. In 2004, China was using Indonesian market as a bridge to export its shrimp to the United States.

As a result, several shrimp containers from Indonesia were rejected from the United States in mid-January 2004.

The shrimp were previously imported from China and then re-exported to the United States.

Kiara and PK2PM urged the Indonesian government, especially the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and the Ministry of Commerce, to proactively anticipate the embargo threat by ensuring the Thai company that operates in Indonesia does not apply slavery practices.

In addition, the Indonesian Directorate General of Customs has also been urged to monitor shrimp imports to ensure that the products have not been imported from Thailand.

ASEAN also asked to carry out an investigation and urged the Thai government to refrain from such practice, punish the perpetrators, and impose regulations in tackling slavery practice in the fishing industry.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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