What is sustainable fishing? Sustainable fishing is an act of fighting against illegal, unreported, unregulated fishing—a key driver of global overfishing, and an act promoting rational use of fisheries resources based on the biomass estimates obtained from stock assessments, practicing the concept of the conservation and management of sustainable fisheries resources and marine ecosystems.

IUU fishing is not only a devastating threat to fisheries resources, marine ecosystems, and their habitats, but also a serious barrier to operating a rational, ethical, and sustainable fisheries. TNS Industries Inc. practices transparent management in order that marine living resources are inherited to our future generation while the distant water fisheries industries are maintained in a sustainable, legal, and ethical manner.

A distant water fisheries fleet does not operate in the domestic waters but operates either in a coastal state’s exclusive economic zone where the fishery operates under given conditions and in compliance with the nation’s regulations or in the high seas being open to all nations under the international law.

Order in the high seas is primarily ensured by the flag states and the operating companies. However, irrational and indiscriminate harvesting of vessels who take advantage of the difficulties of monitoring and surveillance in remote waters (i.e., IUU vessels) have been causing ecosystems degradation and reduction of fisheries resources. The international community, aiming to prevent such, has established regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) to ensure that a vessel’s fishery operations are under monitoring, control, and surveillance.

Aiming to strengthen the responsibility of the fleet operation, TNS Industries Inc. has been practicing sustainable management by voluntary participation in the effective management and rational use of the fisheries resources and marine ecosystems, abiding by the regulations set by the international community.

01 Legal Fishing Operation

Achieving the objective of sustainable fishing essentially requires full compliance with not only the domestic regulations but also the conservation measures set forth by the international organizations. The modern society is witnessing rapid institutional and environmental changes. Namely, the changes in domestic regulations which directly affects fisheries activities, vessels, and seafarers; changes in marine environments including marine environmental pollution; and changes in the international organizations’ conservation measures—the measures reflecting the management objectives which balance conservation and rational use of the fisheries resources.

It is often the case where seafarers who are required to abide by the domestic regulations find it difficult to comprehend the terminologies and content of such, let alone the conservation measures published in English.

In order to ensure compliance with the regulations and conservation measures to practice legal fishing, TNS Industries Inc. has been striving to come up with the best way for all employees to conform with the regulations, for example, by ① participating in meetings in relation to enactment/amendment of domestic regulations or international organizations, ② studying relevant regulations/conservation measures, ③ conducting in-situ training, ④ distributing and confirming a summary checklist (for each regulation/conservation measure), ⑤ monitoring fishing activities, and ⑥ reviewing the operation results with the crew.

02 Safety Management

What is clearly important to a vessel operating in distant waters is the safety of the vessel and crew. TNS Industries Inc. manages to appoint a safety representative and a safety officer for each office and vessel, and provides a copy of the Manual for the Safety Management of Distant Water Fishing Vessels to all offices and vessels in order for the employees to refer to at any time.

Aforementioned manual comprises of a detailed content one can refer to, for example, when developing a plan to ensure on board safety; comprehending the responsibilities and authorities of a captain; examining navigational and operational safety; understanding education and training procedures for land and sea side employees; emergency response procedures; etc. The company is putting tireless interest and efforts into this matter in order to ensure safety of the vessel and the crew during an emergency.

03 Administration of Crew Employment

Human resources management is an important component of fleet management responsibilities. The growing shortage of domestic seafarers has expanded the recruitment of foreign seafarers; at present, foreign seafarers have become an essential factor for the distant water fisheries to sustain. TNS Industries Inc., in order to promote the recruitment and management of foreign seafarers, strives to enhance the crews’ good attributes and cooperative spirit to realize safe and responsible fleet operation.

Reporting Foreign Seafarer Recruitment

The company uses domestic seafarer recruitment and placement service provider to employ foreign seafarers recommended by an officially authorized seafarer employment agency of the seafarer’s country and reports the employment to the competent maritime affairs and port authorities. * Guidelines for Foreign Seafarers Article 5

In-person labor contract

The labor contract is concluded with the foreign seafarer in person, both Korean and foreign language version of the contract are prepared for sign off, and the labor conditions are expressed in detail. Seafarers are provided with an opportunity to review and get advice on the details of the seafarer labor contract. * Seafarers’ Act Article 27 and Guidelines for Foreign Seafarers Article 8
Prohibition of Forced Labor

No shipowner or a seafarer shall coerce a seafarer to perform labor against his/her free will through battery, intimidation, confinement, or by any other means that unjustly restrict his/her mental or physical freedom.
* Article 25-2 of Seafarers’ Act

Posting of Notice in Ships, etc.

The shipowner shall prepare a Korean and English version of the following documents and post them in the vessel office, cafeteria, and/or lounge.
* Seafarers Act Article 151

• A copy of a seafarer labor contract prepared pursuant to Article 43 (1)
• Documents describing a collective agreement and the rules of employment
• Documents describing the procedures for repatriation, whether relief-from-abandonment insurance, etc. has been purchased, the procedures for claiming and paying the expenses incurred in relief from abandonment, and other matters prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (Certificate of relief-from-abandonment insurance)
• Documents describing whether insurance guaranteeing wage claims prescribed in Article 56 has been purchased, the procedures for claiming and paying wages in arrears, and other matters prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (Certificate of Wage Guarantee Fund)
• Documents describing whether accident compensation insurance, etc. has been purchased, the procedures for claiming and paying insurance money, and other matters prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (Certificate of Disaster Insurance)

Direct payment of wages

Wages are paid directly to the foreign seafarers with a signature on the wage payment certificate; however, the wages may also be remitted to the seafarer’s family or to the foreign employment agency with a written consent of the seafarer.
* Seafarers Act Article 52 and Guidelines for Foreign Seafarers Article 9
Payment of wages

• Wages are either paid directly by the shipowner to the foreign seafarer with a signature on the wage payment certificate, or remitted to the seafarer’s family or to the foreign employment agency with a written consent of the seafarer.
Under unavoidable circumstances, the recruitment service provider may be entrusted to pay wages under the shipowner’s responsibility; however, the payment/remittance shall be made according to the written statement clearly distinguishing wages and other expenses, such as the service provider’s commission, and the wage payment certificate shall be kept by the shipowner. In this case, the shipowner pays the wages to the foreign seafarer if the recruitment service provider overdues the seafarer’s wages.
*Guidelines for Foreign Seafarers Article 9
• Wages in full shall be paid in currency directly to a seafarer, on the regular date fixed not less than once a month. Provided, That where there are special provisions in statutes or a collective agreement, he/she may deduct part of wages or pay wages by means other than currency. Payments described by Presidential Decree, such as wages paid temporarily, an allowance, and others corresponding thereto need not be paid on the aforementioned fixed date.
*Seafarers’ Act Article 52 and Guidelines for Foreign Seafarers Paragraphs 1, 2

(Restrictions on Offset) No shipowner shall offset his/her claim on a seafarer by his/her obligation to pay wages: Provided, That this shall not apply where the amount of offset does not exceed 1/3 of ordinary wages.
*Seafarers Act Article 31

(Minimum wage) The minimum wage prescribed in a collective agreement shall not be less than the seafarer’s basic pay recommended by ILO; even if the amount falls below, the minimum wage recommended by ILO is deemed to be the monthly wage of the crew.

Disaster compensation

A shipowner shall purchase insurance or become a member of mutual aid prescribed by Presidential Decree (hereinafter referred to as “accident compensation insurance, etc.”) so that he/she can make accident compensation fully to all seafarers on board the relevant ship. Where a shipowner purchases accident compensation insurance, etc. the insured amount shall be at least the average amount of boarding wages. * Seafarers Act Article 106

(Disaster coverage)
• Medical treatment compensation (occupational, off-hour),
• Injury and disease compensation (occupational, off-hour),
• Compensation for disability (occupational), * Seafarers’ Act Article 94-102
• Compensation for bereaved family (occupational, off-hour),
• Funeral expenses (occupational, off-hour),
• Compensation for missing seamen (occupational, off-hour),
• Compensation for loss of belongings (occupational, off-hour) * Seafarers’ Act Article 94-102
• Compensation for bereaved family (occupational, off-hour),
• Funeral expenses (occupational, off-hour),
• Compensation for missing seamen (occupational, off-hour),
• Compensation for loss of belongings (occupational, off-hour)

Repatriation and purchase of relief-from-abandonment insurance

Where a seafarer leaves a ship at the port which is not a place of his/her residence nor a place where he/she concluded a seafarer labor contract, a shipowner shall repatriate him/her to a place where he/she wishes to be repatriated among either a place of his/her residence or a place where he/she concluded the seafarer labor contract without delay at the expenses of and on the responsibility of the shipowner: Provided, That this shall not apply where the shipowner reimburses expenses incurred in the repatriation at the request of the seafarer.
* Seafarers Act Article 38

(Repatriation expenses)
• Transportation, accommodation, meals, cost of shipping luggage up to 30kg, and medical expenses
* Seafarers Act Article 38

(Purchase of relief-from-abandonment insurance)
A shipowner shall subscribe to insurance or become a member of mutual aid (hereinafter referred to as “relief-from-abandonment insurance, etc.”) prescribed by Presidential Decree in order to provide aid to a seafarer abandoned due to any of the following reasons:
• Where a shipowner has failed to provide goods or services necessary for living in a ship, including food and water, and fuel and medical support necessary for survival, etc., which must be provided to seafarers under this Act or a seafarer labor contract.
• Where a shipowner has failed to repatriate a seafarer in violation of the main sentence of Article 38 (1) or to reimburse expenses incurred in the repatriation prescribed in the proviso to the same paragraph;
• Where a shipowner has unilaterally terminated labor relations with a seafarer by not paying wages prescribed in Article 52 for at least two months, severing contact with the seafarer, etc.

Conduct of training

Regular training sessions are provided to enhance the foreign seafarers’ attributes, increase work efficiency, and facilitate safety of life at sea. * Guidelines for Foreign Seafarers Article 7
Confirmation of completion of training prior to embarkation

* Guidelines for Foreign Seafarers Article 7
A foreign seafarer who seeks to join the crew must complete, prior to the entry into Korea, a minimum 3 days of training at a domestic institution which comprises of trainings prescribed in the Seafarers Act and trainings on skills and/or knowledge required for the position, safety, basic Korean speaking, immigration relevant statutes, etc. And the shipowner and the captain must ascertain whether the seafarer is qualified of such.

Post entry training

* Guidelines for Foreign Seafarers Article 7
After the entry, a foreign seafarer is required to get a training up to three days at a Korean seafarers training institute; however, if the vessel schedule does not allow to do so, the shipowner may substitute such with an on board training under the captain’s supervision.
(Training content) The shipowner should incorporate contents such as skills and/or knowledge required for the position, safety, basic Korean speaking, and Korean immigration relevant statutes into the training, and review and manage the results using a training report format.

Grievance counseling

Repetition of the same duties on a vessel can often cause the crew to loose temper on trivial matters. There may also be crew who are new to their work or having difficulty adjusting to a life on a vessel. All these lead to low productivity and increase the likelihood of safety accidents. The company provides foreign seafarers with grief counseling opportunities by designating a person in charge of such and posting complaints handling procedures inside the vessel. * Guidelines for Foreign Seafarers Article 10
Posting complaints handling procedures

* Seafarers Act Article 129
The shipowner is required to prepare and post information on how seafarers can lodge a complaint on board; on-board complaint procedure flowchart; person in charge of complaints on board; contact persons in seafarers’ labor and rights-related offices, such as the maritime affairs and port authorities and the Seafarer Labor Relations Commission, etc.

04 Respect for human rights

Human rights are rights equally inherent to all human beings, regardless of race, color, sex, language, ideology, place of birth, affiliation, or any other status. Therefore, a person who works on board a vessel in a closed environment must respect the dignity and rights the others have, ruling out any form of discrimination. TNS Industries Inc. has been putting its best efforts in preventing human rights violations of foreign seafarers, by promoting fellowship among the crew and conducting officers training, cowork training, basic Korean language course, and other regular training sessions to prevent safety accidents.

Officers training

Each and every vessel managed by the company is asked to conduct a thorough training under the responsibility of the captain, not only to officers but also the captain himself/herself, and maintain a good record of the training results.
Main training content

• Avoid sarcastic communication making use of language barriers and remind yourself of a difficult time when the food wasn’t to your taste
• Try to understand the food culture of each country and provide a reasonable meal.
• It is perfectly normal for anyone to be afraid or offended by abusive language as their life environment change.
• Working conditions must be fair to everyone.
• Never to show an arrogant attitude to foreign seafarers.
• Anticipate foreign seafarers’ furious reaction when you exhibit insensitive racist behavior.
• Expressing anger or battery (which is forbidden) is a principal cause of conflict.
• In particular, punishment, assault, and battery are on any occasion a violation of human rights; therefore, must be prohibited.
• Each nation in the world places a great value to its religion, and its members are willing to risk their lives to defend it.
• A believer would take an assault on religion or ignoring a religious taboo as an insult to his/her life.
• Take religious rites into due consideration.
• Try to have deeper understanding about cultural differences.
• Greeting people’s birthdays or welcome events for new members facilitate comradeship which is important for having a good atmosphere and tone between crew members.
• A seafarer should not be forced to labor against his/her free will.
• Every person deserves to be treated with respect and kindness. So for example, help create a family-like environment, respect each individual’s custom and beliefs, and do not discriminate against the crew by race.

Cowork training and safety training

The company gives cowork training to seafarers who have never coworked with a foreign seafarer to prevent them from committing a violation of human rights. Also safety training is provided prior to embarkation to ensure that violence, riots, or any other conflicts do not occur between crew members on board. * Guidelines for Foreign Seafarers Article 7
Main training content

• A seafarer should be mindful to avoid a petty act of negligence that can take away a precious life. For example, one should not wander the deck during night time without a clear purpose in order to prevent from falling off the vessel.
• A seafarer shall not disturb social order nor conduct an act which puts the vessel and/or crew in risk.
• Appoint a navigator who will liaise with foreign seafarers. Appoint a liaison for each group of nationality in case the seafarers are from multiple countries. A navigator in charge should make efforts to manage the foreign seafarers by using body language, showing efforts to communicate in the local language, working as a grievance counselor, understanding their mood or attitude, assimilating individual personalities and abilities, and liaising the orders given.
• A seafarer is not allowed to use important apparatus, electrical equipment, or inflammables without the captain’s authorization.
• It is often the case where a crew answers without comprehending the work instructions; be sure to watch and confirm until the work is done.
• Seafarers who are relatively new to the ship may express physical distress; it is important to take good care of them in their daily routine and maintaining clean environment and building trust in daily interactions.

Basic Korean speaking education

Unintentional acts or cultural differences between domestic and foreign seafarers often creates misunderstanding. The company provides foreign seafarers with basic Korean speaking lessons on board, which will be helpful in avoiding unnecessary tension among the crew and creating good atmosphere in which the crew respect each other's courtesy and personality and seek mutual cooperation. * Guidelines for Foreign Seafarers Article 7