WASHINGTON — A tuna fishing boat based in the Pacific island nation of Fiji that has been accused of essentially enslaving its crew was blocked Wednesday from importing seafood into the United States, part of an increasing effort to keep goods produced with forced labor from entering the country.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued an order to stop any shipments in American ports from the Hangton No. 112, a longliner operated by a Chinese national, after the agency determined there was credible evidence that the crew was subjected to conditions defined as forced labor under international standards.
It’s the latest in a series of such orders targeting Asian fishing vessels amid reports that crews made up largely of vulnerable migrant workers from poorer countries are subjected to horrific conditions by operators traveling farther at sea and for longer periods as fish populations decline worldwide.
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