The UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization has identified the production of seafood and fish as one of the fastest growing sectors in the global food system. Employment is also on the rise: almost 60 million people are employed in the primary sector with 140 million employed along the supply chain from harvesting to distribution.

Fish and fisheries products are one of the most-traded segments of the world food sector, with 78 percent of products traded internationally. Global companies are rapidly consolidating both fish catch and fish processing.

Another important feature of the sector is its appalling record of human rights violations, slavery, human trafficking and child labour. Illegal and criminal fishing is widespread and puts workers at great risk. Ensuring universal enforcement of laws and strengthening workers’ access to their rights are key challenges. Against this background the IUF is building a global division of fish and seafood workers dedicated to the growth of trade unions and the fight against exploitation as well as dignity and access to rights for workers in the sector.

IUF Contact

Kirill Buketov

International Officer: Fisheries / Aquaculture & Tobacco

E: [email protected]

Key Developments

Turkey: Canned fish company held workers captive in production after COVID-19 outbreak


A canned fish and ready-made sandwich company, Dardanel, in the north western province of Çanakkale in Turkey forced more than...

Trafficking, exploitation and death: the human cost of unregulated, illegal fishing


Video evidence and media reports detailing gross abuses aboard a Chinese fishing vessel operating with migrant seafarers have again shone...

Colombia: Violence and threats against workers at fisheries company Seatech behind ethical marketing


At the City Gross hypermarket in Stockholm, we buy a tin of Natuna brand tuna. It costs ten SEK and...