Southern Shrimp Alliance Asks ILAB to Investigate Forced Labor in Shrimp Feed Supply Chains

Today, the Southern Shrimp Alliance submitted comments to the Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) of the U.S. Department of Labor requesting that the agency further investigate the supply chains for fishmeal and fish oil production in China, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The Southern Shrimp Alliance’s filing responded to a Federal Register Notice published by ILAB in October 2022 that requested information and/or comment on three reports issued by the agency on child labor and forced labor in foreign countries.

The Southern Shrimp Alliance’s comments requested that ILAB consider listing the fish harvested to produce fishmeal and fish oil, and the fish feed produced from this fish, as an input produced through forced labor in the 2024 List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor. Citing to studies and investigative journalism exposés, the organization additionally asked ILAB to consider listing shrimp raised on this input as a downstream good using an input produced through forced labor or, alternatively, as a downstream good at risk of using an input produced through forced labor.

The comments filed today is the third filing made by the Southern Shrimp Alliance with ILAB since 2020.

Two years ago, the Southern Shrimp Alliance raised concerns regarding the preponderance of evidence regarding forced labor practices aboard the distant-water fishing fleets of multiple countries. Following ILAB’s investigation of these industries, the agency included fish produced in China and Taiwan to the 2020 List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor.

And earlier this year, the Southern Shrimp Alliance presented evidence regarding the continued prevalence of forced and child labor in several exporting industries in India. Following ILAB’s investigation of these industries, the agency included tea produced in India in the 2022 List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor.

“Getting forced labor out of foreign supply chains is a priority for the domestic shrimp industry,” said John Williams, the Executive Director of the Southern Shrimp Alliance. “Over many years, ILAB has demonstrated that the agency’s exhaustive process for investigating these supply chains and, where appropriate, listing products where forced labor and child labor has been adequately documented, is an essential foundational step in eliminating these practices.”

The Southern Shrimp Alliance’s December 16, 2022 comments to ILAB may be read here:    https://www.shrimpalliance.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/SSA-Comments-to-ILAB-on-List-of-Goods-Report-Dec.-16-2022.pdf

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