Thai Union, training company AENOR and supply chain assurance NGO Global Seafood Assurances have agreed to share knowledge and resources to establish standards and best practice for fishing vessels and crew welfare.

The agreement is aimed at helping to ensure the same consideration be given to crews on fishing vessels as to workers in land-based sectors in terms of safe working conditions, proper contracts and properly upheld and understood rights.

In recent years companies including Thai Union have increased efforts to prevent trafficking and forced labor, particularly in the fishing and seafood processing communities.

“Ensuring the welfare of crew and other fishery workers is of paramount importance and we have been working on our standards and improvement programs for some time," Thai Union Europe's Responsible Sourcing Director Tracy Cambridge said.

"Vessel standards, particularly around crew welfare, are critical in seafood supply chain assurance," Global Seafood Assurances director Melanie Siggs said.

"It is no longer acceptable to view the environmental management of fisheries as a separate issue from the provision of safe and legal labor to the people working in them and we have a collective responsibility to support those seeking to achieve best practices."

A memorandum of understand was signed on Sept. 1 and will be implemented on a rolling, annual basis.

New parties may be invited to join with the consent of all signatories.