Precarious Work In The Asian Seafood Global Value Chain

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Precarious Work in theAsian SeafoodGlobal Value Chain1


3Dock workers unloaded and sorted throughbarrels of fish at the processing facility in Ranong,Thailand in August.Adam Dean for the New York Times

EXECUTIVE SUMMARYThe outsourcing of production and processingactivities to the bottom of seafood global valuechains (GVCs) in Asia has resulted in intensivelabour exploitation and abuse of vulnerableworkers—especially women migrant workers frommarginalized communities. Workers at the baseof seafood value chains in Bangladesh, India andThailand suffer non-enforcement of legal rightsand violations of ILO labour standards, includingrestricted freedom of association, low wages,gender discrimination, workplace violence, wagetheft and child and forced labour. The iterationof these rights violations across Asian countriestestifies to the structural nature of these rightsviolations, reproduced across contexts andintegrally linked to the structure of the seafoodGVC. Moreover, with 200 countries currentlyparticipating in the seafood GVC, workingconditions and wages in developing countrieshave significant impact on wages and workingconditions in developing and developed countriesalike.This report details the context of intensive labourexploitation and abuse of vulnerable workers inthe Asian seafood industry and elsewhere.Part IThe Global Seafood Industry, in brief, traces therise of global fish consumption and the evolutionof the contemporary seafood GVC—includingsourcing and production, processing anddistribution. This first section concludes with anoverview of how consumer and environmentalactivists have managed to address food qualityand safety concerns through internationalinstitutions and non-tariff trade barriers. It alsoidentifies the nascent dialogue emerging aroundthe need to protect workers’ rights in the seafoodGVC.Part IIOverview of the Asian Seafood Industryprovides an overview of seafood value chains inBangladesh, India and Thailand. Each overviewidentifies significant export commodities, tracesthe labour processes entailed in their productionand processing and identifies workforcedemographics. The basic structural overviewprovided in these country-level case studies ofdomestic seafood value chains reveals structuralsimilarities and dissimilarities operating acrossBangladesh, India and Thailand.Part IIIPrecarious work in the Asian seafood industrydiscusses, in detail, the intensive labourexploitation and abuse faced by workers in theseafood GVC. Evidence of rights violations isdrawn from existing studies and supplementedby primary research on seafood processing inIndia. In this section the human rights violationsand consequences of precarious work in theAsian seafood processing industry are articulatedthematically in order to surface the pattern ofrights violations across Bangladesh, India andThailand.The Conclusion: precarious work in the Asianseafood industry and the global race to thebottom, links the plight of seafood industrialworkers in Asia to seafood production worldwide.This final section draws upon findings from theNational Guestworker Alliance (NGA) in the UnitedStates to demonstrate how in order to competein international markets, US seafood processorsemploy a contingent workforce highly vulnerableto workplace abuse and exploitation.4

5RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE ILO AT THEINTERNATIONAL LABOUR CONFERENCE, 2016As detailed in this report on the seafood GlobalProduction Network (GPN), due to the scale ofglobal trade accounted for by GVCs, there is anurgent need for global mechanisms to monitorand regulate GVCs and GPNs. The ILO—the onlyglobal tripartite institution—has a unique role toplay in setting standards for all of the actors thatimpact fundamental principles and rights at work.The ILO Tripartite declaration of principlesconcerning multinational enterprises and socialpolicy (MNE Declaration), 2006 provides agood starting point. However, within the MNEDeclaration, MNE refers only to subsidiaries orfranchises. Accordingly, GVCs in their current formare not covered by this Declaration. The need ofthe hour is for the ILO to clarify and update itsstandards and mechanisms to protect workersemployed by TNCs across vast GPNs.TNCs and their suppliers have a duty toobey national laws and respect internationalstandards—especially those pertaining torealization of the fundamental principles andrights at work. A number of ILO core labourstandards, such as the Forced Labour Convention,1930 (No. 29), 2014 Protocol to the ForcedLabour Convention 1930 and accompanyingRecommendation, already protect workersin value chains. However, as this reportdetails, changes in the modern workplace andglobalization of value chains has opened up newgaps in the protection of fundamental principlesand rights at work. In addition to clarifying theapplication of existing standards in global valuechains, the ILO should set new standards andenforcement mechanisms and encourage nationalgovernments to do the same.The following recommendations emerge from ourexperience promoting the rights of workers in theglobal value chains.1. Given the well-documented and rampantexploitation of workers and resources byMNEs operating through GVCs, and notingthe limits on regulation under national legalregimes, the ILO should move towards abinding legal convention regulating GVCs.1.1 Standards under this convention must beat least as effective and comprehensiveas the UN Guiding Principle on Businessand Human Rights and existing OECDmechanisms, including the 2011 OECDGuidelines for Multinational Enterprises.1.2 The Convention should include thefollowing components, among others: Imposition of liability and sustainablecontracting, capitalization and/or otherrequirements on lead firms to ensureaccountability throughout the GVC. Establishment of a Global LabourInspectorate with monitoring andenforcement powers. Publicly accessible transparency andtraceability provisions. Specific provisions that address thespecial vulnerability of migrant workerson GVCs. Specific provisions that address thespecial vulnerability of women workersin GVCs. Limits on the use of temporary,outsourced, self-employed, orother forms of contract labour thatlimit employer liability for workerprotections.2. Pursue a Recommendation on human rightsdue diligence that takes into account andbuilds upon existing due diligence provisionsthat are evolving under the United NationsGuiding Principles on Business and HumanRights and the 2011 OECD Guidelines forMultinational Enterprises.

63. Take the following complementary measuresto protect workers employed in global valuechains:3.1 Recognize the right to living wage as ahuman right and establish living wagecriteria and mechanisms.3.2 Promote sector-based and transnationalcollective bargaining and urge countriesto remove national legal barriers to theseforms of collective action.3.3 Expand work towards the eliminationof forced labour, including promotingratification and implementation of theForced Labour Convention, 1930 (No.29), 2014 Protocol to the Forced LabourConvention 1930 and accompanyingRecommendation.3.4 Continue programs to ensure socialprotection, fair wages and health andsafety at every level of GVCs.4. Convene research to inform ILO global supplychain programming, including:4.1 Research on adverse impacts of TNCpurchasing practices upon Core labour standards for all categoriesof workers across value chains. Wages and benefits for all categoriesof value chain workers. This researchshould aim to satisfy basic needs ofworkers and their families. Access to fundamental rights tofood, housing, and education for allcategories of value chain workers andtheir families.4.2 Research into the range of global actorsthat may have leverage over GVCsincluding investors, hedge funds, pensionfunds and GVC networks that defineindustry standards such as Free on Board(FOB) prices.4.3 Research into the types of technical adviceneeded by OECD government participantstaking a multi-stakeholder approach toaddress risks of adverse impacts associatedwith products.4.4 Research into mechanisms deployed byauthoritative actors within GVCs thatcontribute to violations of fundamentalprinciples and rights at work, includingbut not limited to attacks on freedom ofassociation, collective bargaining, forcedovertime, wage theft and forced labour.5. Organize a Tripartite Conference on theadverse impact of contracting and purchasingpractices upon migrant workers’ rights. Thisconference should focus on: Protection of migrant rights as conferredunder the UN International Convention onthe Protection of the Rights of all MigrantWorkers and Members of their Families. The intersection of migrant rights andILO initiatives to promote Decent Work inGlobal Supply Chains.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS7This report is one in a series of reports, entitled Workers’ Voices from Global Supply Chains: A Reportto the ILO 2016. This study of the Asian seafood global value chain was conducted by the Society forLabour and Development. It was researched and written by Shikha Silliman Bhattacharjee, JD and VaibhavRaaj. This report was edited by Anannya Bhattacharjee and Ashim Roy. Recommendations for the ILO atthe International Labour Conference, 2016 were formulated by a group of organizations, including theinternational Asia Floor Wage Alliance, Jobs with Justice (USA), National Guestworkers Alliance (USA), andSociety for Labour and Development (India).FIGURESFigure 1:Map of BangladeshFigure 2:Frozen Fish and Shrimp Exported from Bangladesh (1998-99 to 2013-14)Figure 3:Shrimp fry supply chain from collectors to farmers, BangladeshFigure 4:India region-wise processing plants with capacity as of July 2014Figure 5:Marine Exports Growth in India, 1995-96 to 2014-15Figure 6:Marine Products Exports by India to all MarketsFigure 7:Indian seafood value chainFigure 8:Table of revenue distribution along the Indian seafood value chain in Eranakulam andAlapuzha, Kerala, IndiaFigure 9:Map of Thailand

ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMSAFL-CIOAmerican Federation of LabourCongress of Industrial OrganizationsAFWAAsia Floor Wage AllianceBLABangladesh Labour Act, 2006BFFEAThe Bangladesh Frozen FoodExporters AssociationECEuropean CommissionEIAExport Inspection AgencyESIEmployees’ State InsuranceEUEuropean UnionDOFDepartment of FisheriesFAOFood and Agricultural Organizationof the United NationsFAO COFIFAO Committee on FisheriesGPNGlobal Production NetworkGDPGross Domestic ProductGSPGeneralised System of PreferenceGVCGlobal Value ChainHAACPHazards Analysis Critical ControlPointILOInternational Labour OrganizationINFOSANInternational Food SafetyAuthorities NetworkIPOA-IUUInternational Plan of Action toPrevent, Deter and EliminateIllegal, Unreported andUnregulated FishingIPECInternational Programme onElimination of Child LabourIUUIllegal, Unreported andUnregulatedMPEDAMarine Products ExportDevelopment AuthorityMSCNCBINGANGONTBOECDOECD US FDAWHOWTOMarine Stewardship CounselNational Center for BiotechnologyInformationNational Guestworker AllianceNon-governmental OrganizationNon-tariff BarrierOrganization for EconomicCooperation and DevelopmentOrganization for EconomicCooperation and DevelopmentTransition to Responsible FisheriesOriginal Equipment ManufacturerPort State Measures to Prevent,Deter and Eliminate Illegal,Unreported and UnregulatedFishingProvident FundPersonal Protective EquipmentRegional Fishery BodiesSeafood Exporters Association ofIndiaSmall and Medium EnterprisesSanitary and PhytosanitaryThai Frozen Foods AssociationTransnational CorporationThai Tuna Industry AssociationUnited Nations Conference onTrade and DevelopmentUnited StatesUnited States DollarUnited States Food and DrugAdministrationWorld Health OrganizationWorld Trade Organization8



11Combodian migrants hauled in the nets on aThai-flagged fishing boat in the Gulf of Thailandin august. A labour shortage in the Thai fishingindustry is primarily filled by using migrants,mostly from Cambodia & Myanmar.Adam Dean for the New York Times

12Part 1The Global Seafood Industry

13Global fish consumptionIn the last half-century, world fish consumptionper capita has almost doubled—from anestimated 9.9 kgs per capita in the 1960’s toan estimated 19.2 kgs per capita in 20121.While seafood is disproportionately consumedin developed countries2, consumption has alsoincreased in developing and low-income fooddeficit countries. Emergence of fish as a healthfood for affluent consumers suggests that fishproduction will continue to multiply in order tomeet consumer demand across the planet3.Keeping pace with demand, the industrialgrowth rate of fish for consumption has averaged3.2 percent globally—far ahead of the worldpopulation growth rate of 1.6 percent4. In 2012more than 85 percent of the total fish producedfrom marine capture fisheries and aquaculturewas for direct human consumption5—a markedincrease from the 1980’s when 71 percent oftotal fish production was for direct human1Food and Agriculture Organization of the UnitedNations (FAO), The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture2014, (available online: 1961-2010, fish consumption rose from 4.9to 10.9 kgs per capita in low income food deficit countries;5.2 to 17.8 kgs per capita in developing countries. FAO 2014,supra note 1 at 4.3Bimal Prasanna Mohanty, et. al., Food Safety,Labeling Regulations and Fish Food Authentication,Science and Technology Development/Policy Issues(2013), 253 (available online: 013-0139-x) (citing Delgado CL,etl al., Outlook for fish to 2020, Meeting Global demand:A 2020 vision for food, agriculture and the environmentalinitiative, International Food Policy Research Institute:Washington DC, 2003).4FAO 2014, supra note 1 at 3.5Id. 4 (indicating that 136 tonnes out of a total 158tonnes of fisheries and aquaculture production was utilizedfor human consumption in 2012).consumption6. Fish is now among the most tradedfood commodities in the world, representingabout 10 percent of total agricultural exportsand 1 percent of world merchandise traded invalue terms. Global export value in seafood forconsumption peaked in 2011 at USD 129.8 billiondollars, with a growth rate of 17 percent over theprevious year7.Seafood globalproduction network(GPN) and global valuechains (GVC)The rise in demand for seafood has unfoldedalongside global reorganization of productionand processing activities. Today, 200 countriesparticipate in the seafood GVC 8. In developingcountries, fish consumption tends to be basedupon seasonal availability of local products. Indeveloped countries, by contrast, a growing shareof fish for consumption is imported as a resultof steady demand and declining domestic fishproduction9. In 2012, the European Union (EU)—the largest import market for seafood, worth USD24.9 billion—accounted for 23 percent of worldimports in fish and fishery products, excludingintra-EU trade10. The majority of fish consumed inthe United States and Japan, 60 percent and 54percent respectively, is also imported. Increasedexport orientation in the seafood industry isreflected in the growth rate of world trade in fishand fishery products: 8.3 percent growth per year6Id. at 47.7Id. at 7, 46.8Id. at 7, 46.9Id. at 3.10Id. at 50.

14in nominal terms and 4.1 percent in real termsbetween 1976 and 201211.Within the last two decades, the EU, US andJapan have increasingly outsourced productionand processing to developing countries in Asia,Latin America and Africa. In 2011, fish wasthe highest exported agricultural commodityfor developing countries—leaving coffee,natural rubber and cocoa far behind in valueterms12. Developing economies, whose exportsrepresented just 34 percent of world seafoodtrade in 1982, saw their share rise to 54 percentof total fishery export value by 2012. In the sameyear, developing country exports representedmore than 60 percent of the quantity (liveweight) of total fishery exports. Due to relianceon seafood imports by developed countries tocover increasing consumption of fish and fisheryproducts, developing countries have been able tosupply fishery products without facing prohibitivecustoms duties13.The Global Production Network (GPN) isa term that describes this contemporaryproduction system, which results from the shiftin international trade from exchange based ondistant market relationships to one based onclosely networked firms. Exchanges betweenfirms within this network are structured so thattransnational corporations (TNCs) do not formallyown the overseas subsidiaries or franchiseesbut outsource production to them, without theburden of legal ownership. As explained by theWorld Investment Report 2013 by UNCTAD:11Id. at 50.12Id. at 51-52.13Id. at 8, 51, 52, 53 (noting that exports fromdeveloping countries have increased significantly in recentdecades also thanks to the lowering of tariffs, in particularfor non-value-added products; and that this trend followsthe expanding membership of the WTO, entry into force ofnumerous bilateral and multilateral trade agreements).Today’s global economy is characterized byglobal value chains (GVCs), in which intermediategoods and services are traded in fragmented andinternationally dispersed production processes.GVCs are typically coordinated by TNCs, withcross-border trade of inputs and outputstaking place within their networks of affiliates,contractual partners and arm’s-length suppliers.TNC-coordinated GVCs account for some 80 percent of global trade14.As described by UNCTAD, the global productionnetwork (GPN) framework expresses theorganizational linkages that the TNCs use toreorganize production through services andcontractual agreements. The GPN shifts themarket relationship between firms from a traderelationship to a quasi-production relationshipwithout the risks of ownership.As with other GPNs, the way seafood productsare prepared, marketed and delivered toconsumers has changed significantly. As observedby the FAO, “processing is becoming moreintensive, geographically concentrated, verticallyintegrated and linked with global supply chains.”Marine artisanal fishers and coastal agriculturalcommunities with traditional livelihoods rootedin local systems of fishing and crop cultivationhave been incorporated into global networks ofcommodity flows15.Commodities may cross national boundariesseveral times before final consumption. Drivingforces behind the seafood GVC include: dramatic decreases in transport andcommunication costs;14Bob Poktrant, “Brackish Water Shrimp Farming andthe Growth of Aquatic Monocultures in Coastal Bangladesh,”in J. Christensen, M. Tull (eds.), “Historical Perspectives ofFisheries Exploitation in the Indo-Pacific” (MARE Publication,2014).15Id

15 progress in storage and preservation;outsourcing of processing to countries wherecomparatively low wages and production costsprovide a competitive advantage;increasing consumption of fisherycommodities;favourable trade liberalization policies;more efficient distribution and marketing;and continuing technological innovations,including improvements in processing,packaging and transportation16.Due to these forces, fish products may beproduced in one country, processed in a secondand consumed in a third. The seafood GVC can beroughly subdivided into three levels:1. Sourcing and production of raw materials,including from the sea or aquaculture;2. Processing and export, including post-harvestsale, transportation, processing, freezing andexporting;3. Import and distribution: sale and delivery togrocery stores and restaurants17.Driving these networks, TNCs increasinglydictate the standard and type of product, price,conditions of production and sale. Millions ofthe people around the world are employed bythe seafood GVC. Overall, women accounted for15-20 percent of people engaged in sourcing andproduction and as high as 90 percent in secondaryactivities such as processing18. While the growth16Frank Asche and Martin D. Smith, Trade andFisheries: Key Issues for the World Trade Organization,(Geneva: World Trade Organization Working Paper, 2009);FAO 2014, supra note2 at 46; David Green, Automation inSeafood Processing, J. of Aquatic Food Product Tech., 22:4,337-338 (2013) (for discussion in advances in automatedseafood processing).17This model has been adapted from PatarapongIntarakumnerd, et. al. “Innovation system of the seafoodindustry in Thailand,” 23 Asian Journal of TechnologyInnovation 2, 274 (2015).18FAO 2014, supra note 1 at 31.of the seafood GVC provides employment in manydeveloping countries, it has also led to an increasein precarious jobs with low wages and poorworking conditions.Sourcing andproduction: fishing andfarmingIn 2012, 68 percent of the people employedin sourcing and production were engaged incapture fishing while 32 percent were engagedin aquaculture. Europe and North America haveexperienced a decrease in the number of peopleengaged in capture fishing and only a marginalincrease in fish farming. In contrast, Africa andAsia have shown a sustained increase in thenumber of people engaged in capture fishing andeven higher rates of increase in those engaged infish farming. These trends in employment havebeen related to higher population growth andincreased economic activity in the agriculturalsector in Africa and Asia19.Fish production alone, including fishers andfish farmers, engaged an estimated 58.3 millionpeople in 201220. Together, Africa and Asia bothaccount for 94 percent of fishers and fish farmers.They also show the lowest output per personper year: 1.8 and 2.0 tonnes per person per year,respectively. These numbers are in stark contrastwith annual average outputs of 24.0 and 20.1tonnes per person per year in Europe and NorthAmerica, respectively. The difference betweenthese sets of numbers reflects higher degrees ofindustrialization in Europe and North America andthe prevalence of small-scale producers in Africa19Id. at 28.20Id. at 27.

16and Asia21.Of the 58.3 million people engaged as fishfarmers—concentrated predominantly in eitherAfrica or Asia—37 percent were engaged fulltime, 23 percent were engaged part time andthe remaining 40 percent were either occasionalworkers or had an unspecified status. In total,63 percent of all people employed as fishersand fish farmers are not engaged in full timeemployment22.FishingIn general, employment in fishing has decreasedin most European countries, North America andJapan and increased in Africa and Asia23. The risingpractice of illegal, unreported and unregulated(IUU)24 exploitation of wild fish stocks—especiallyfrom the shores of developing countries—hasbeen referred to as “ocean grabbing.” Accordingto the former UN Special Rapporteur on the rightto food, Olivier De Schutter, “ocean grabbing”can be as serious as “land grabbing” in divertingresources from local populations.25Fishing regulations are particularly challenging toenforce. Outside of a nation state’s “exclusive21Id. at 31.22Id. at 27.23Id. at 31.24Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU)exploitation of wild fish stocks refers to all fishing outsidethe ambit of laws and regulations. This includes fishingwithout a license, fishing in a closed area, fishing withprohibited gear, fishing in excess of quotas and fishing ofprohibited species.25Charlotte Seager, “Fisheries in Africa are losingbillions due to illegal practices,” The Guardian, May 8, 2014,accessed February 19, 2016, rt-2014.economic zone”—a 200 mile strip of oceanadjacent to the shoreline— fishing vessels aregoverned by laws of the country in which theyare registered. The country of registration isreferred to as the “flag state.” In order to sidestepregulation, many fishing vessels are registeredin countries with no meaningful link to theiroperations, incentive or capacity to enforce fishingregulations. This practice has been referred to asthe use of “flags of convenience”—a structuralloophole that permits environmental and socialabuses in this sector26. For instance, recent reportsaccuse hundreds of Chinese owned or “flagged”vessels of taking advantage of weak enforcementby African governments to indiscriminately nettons of fish off the coasts of Gambia, Guinea,Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Senegal and SierraLeone27.The source of fish is also particularly hard to trace.Challenges associated with tracing seafood catchto its source have implications for both illegalfishing and abusive labour practices. Small fishingboats that stay out to sea for years often transfertheir catch to large “motherships.” Mothershipscarry fuel, extra food, spare nets and workers tothe trawlers; and carry fish from smaller fishingboats to ports for sale. Once a load of fish istransferred to a mothership, it is very difficult totrace whether it was caught legally or poached—by paid fishermen or bonded migrant workers.While consumers can track some seafood exportsto onshore processing facilities, the source of fishcaught at sea is, in most cases, invisible2826International Transport Workers’ Federation, Whatare flags of convenience?, .27Andrew Jacobs, Chinese “Fleets Illegally Fish inWest African Waters, Greenpeace Says,” New York Times,May 20, 2015, accessed February 19, 2016, -west-africafishing-greenpeace.html? r 0.28Ian Urbina, “‘Sea Slaves’: The Human Miserythat Feeds Pets and Livestock,” New York Times, July 27,

17FarmingProcessingWorld aquaculture production continues to grow,increasing 5.8 percent to 70.5 million tonnesin 2013 and contributing 42.2 percent of thetotal fish produced globally, including for nonfood uses29. Aquaculture can be categorized aseither inland aquaculture or mariculture. Inlandaquaculture generally uses freshwater, but someproduction operations use saline water in inlandareas (e.g. Egypt) and inland saline-alkali water(e.g. China). Mariculture includes productionoperations in the sea and intertidal zones andland-based (onshore) saline production facilitiesand structures30. Environmental risks associatedwith aquaculture include water pollution, wetlandlosses and mangrove destruction31.Processing plants are at the apex of manydomestic value chains and constitute the maininterface between domestic production andinternational markets33. Fish product processingplants vary in technology levels, with smallerworkplaces relying entirely on manual handlingof fish products and larger companies usingmodern, highly automated processes34. Seafoodprocessing ranges from simple gutting, headingor slicing, to more advanced value additionthrough breading, cooking and individual quickfreezing35. In 2012, 54 percent of fish for humanconsumption was processed—cured, preparedor preserved in frozen forms. Of this, 12 percent(16 million tonnes) was dried, salted, smoked orotherwise cured; 13 percent (17 million tonnes)was preserved; and 29 percent (40 million tonnes)was preserved in frozen form36. The growth inseafood processing for value addition has in turnled to more residual by-products. Fish by-productsare utilized for a range of purposes including fishsausages, cakes, gelatin, sauces, pharmaceuticals,cosmetics, biodiesel fertilizer and animal feed37.Asia accounts for 88 percent of world aquacultureproduction by volume. In 2012, China accountedfor 61.7 percent of the world’s total aquacultureproduction. India (6.3 percent), Vietnam (4.6percent), Indonesia (4.6 percent), Bangladesh (2.6percent) and Thailand (1.9 percent) also rankedamong the top seven producers of farmed fishglobally.322015, accessed February 15, 2015, an-thailand-fishing-seaslaves-pets.html? r 0.29FAO 2014, supra note 1 at 18-19.30Id. at 22.31Parashar Kulkarni, The Marine Seafood ExportSupply Chain in India: Current State and Influence ofImport Requirements, CUTS Centre for International Trade,Economics and Environments, Jaipur, India (2005).32FAO 2014, supra note 1 at 21-22 (listing theamount of farmed food fish production by top 15 producersin tons and percentage in Table 7, including farmed fish production information for China, India, Viet Nam, Indonesia,Bangladesh, Norway, Thailand, Chile, Egypt, Myanmar, Philippines, Brazil, Japan, Republic of Korea and United States).Outsourcing of processing activities is dictated bycosts of labour and transportation; and speciesand final product specifications. For instance,Poland and the Baltic states process smokedand marinated products for sale in Central andEastern Europe due to the highly sensitive shelf33Bob Pokrant, “Work, Community, Environmentand the Shrimp Export Industry in Bangladesh, India andThailand,” in Michael Gillan and Bob Pokrant ed., Trade,Labour and Transformation of Community in Asia (PalgraveMacmillan, 2009), at 78.34MF Jeebhay, et. al., “World at Work: Fish processingworkers,” 61 Occup. Environ. Med., 471 (2004).35FAO 2014, supra note 1 at 43.36Id. at 42.37Id. at 45.

18life of these products. Whole, frozen fish fromEurope and North America, however, may be sentfor labour-intensive processing to China, India,Indonesia and other developing countries andthen reimported into markets of origin38.Processing facilities operate predominantly insome of the world’s poorest regions or amongpoor workforces in developed countries.Traditional labour intensive processing methods—including filleting, salting, canning, dryingand fermentation—often take place in ruraleconomies with support from developing countrygovernments as part of rural developmentand poverty alleviation strategies to generateemployment39.DistributionThe concept of governance in GVC analysis isbased upon the observation that value chains arerarely coordinated spontaneously through marketexchange.

activists have managed to address food quality and safety concerns through international institutions and non-tariff trade barriers. It also identifies the nascent dialogue emerging around the need to protect workers' rights in the seafood GVC. Part II Overview of the Asian Seafood Industry provides an overview of seafood value chains in

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