December 8th Webinar - Melissa Marschke & Peter Vandergeest: Seafarers in Industrial Fishing: Examining migrant worker precarity

November 23, 2021

The Ocean Frontier Institute and the Social Sciences and Humanities working group present the People and The Ocean Speaker Series. Each month from October 2021 to May 2022, an ocean expert will hold a 90-minute webinar. The list of webinars can be found here.

Webinar Details

Date: December 8th, 2021, 12:30 AST (13:00 NST)

Watch the webinar on YouTube HERE

Title: Seafarers in Industrial Fishing: Examining migrant worker precarity

Abstract: Our talk focuses on COVID-19, instability and migrant fish workers. Drawing on interviews with port-based support organizations and various other international organizations, we outline how pre-existing long term structural marginalizations of seafarers in fishing have made fish workers particularly vulnerable to the negative impacts of pandemic management policies for seafarers.  We focus our analysis on obstacles to crew change and reduced access to crucial shore services, and show how the repatriation of crew and access to shore services is the outcome of negotiation among a constellation of port-based actors.  We further examine global governance in fisheries, particularly with respect to the responsibilities and potential roles of flag, port, coastal and home country states; of seafood importing states especially with regard to products made with forced labour, and private sector action.  We also explore where Canada stands with regards to particular global governance initiatives, and in terms of migrant fish workers.

Speaker: Melissa Marschke

Speaker: Peter Vandergeest

Discussant: Barbara Neis

Barbara Neis (Ph.D., C.M., F.R.S.C.) is John Lewis Paton Distinguished University Professor and Honorary Research Professor, Department of Sociology, Memorial University of Newfoundland. She is also the former co-founder and co-director of the SafetyNet Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Research and a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Council of Canadian Academies. Professor Neis has worked for three decades in multi-disciplinary teams carrying out community-engaged research in marine and coastal contexts on social and environmental change, rebuilding fisheries, gender and fisheries, occupational health and safety and mobile work. She is also a co-investigator in several modules and projects of the Ocean Frontier Institute.

Discussant: Desai Shan

Desai Shan is Assistant Professor at Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland. She received her PhD from Cardiff University in 2017. She held the Ocean Frontier Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship (Dalhousie University, 2018-2020), On the Move Research Partnership Postdoctoral Fellowship (University of Ottawa, 2017-2018), Nippon Foundation-Seafarers International Research Centre PhD Fellowship (Cardiff University, 2011-2015).

As a dedicated researcher in the fields of international maritime law and occupational health and safety (OHS), she has published fifteen research articles and book chapters on Canadian and international seafarers’ rights to occupational health and safety. She sat on the expert panel of the Ministry of Foreign affairs of the Republic of Indonesia to develop guidelines on international seafarer abandonment cases.

Now she is conducting research projects on Maritime Occupational Health and Safety in Canada, including Canadian Maritime Welfare System, Arctic maritime occupational health and safety issues, occupational noise exposure on merchant and fishing vessels . Her research projects have been funded by the Ocean Frontier Institute, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council through the On the Move Partnership (