The Ghost Fleet is a documentary feature that uncovers the vast injustice of slavery in the Thai fishing industry through thrilling escape stories. Thailand supplies a large portion of America’s seafood, but Thailand’s giant fishing fleet is chronically short tens of thousands of fishermen per year. Human traffickers have stepped in, selling captives from the region to the captains for a few hundred dollars each.
Once at sea, the men may never return to land – unless they escape. These boats work the islands of Indonesia and Thailand, but also off the coasts of West Africa and Europe. Attempts to “certify” where fish come from, and who is catching it, are in the works but are currently hit-and-miss. In the meantime, as fishing stocks are depleted and commercial fishing operations toiling under tighter and tighter budgets, the need for slave labor grows. Threats and punishments do too.
Next time you order a fish in a restaurant or buy it from a freezer at your local shop, ask yourself, who caught this fish?