A QUARTER OF Irish fishing vessels that were inspected by the state were caught with illegal workers on board last year, new figures show.
The investigation comes amid claims that a system for giving permits to fishing workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) – introduced in an attempt to regulate the sector – is ineffective and that exploitation is still rife.
A former minister who helped set up the scheme says many workers are doing 100-hour weeks and only being paid for a standard 39 hours, while a key union official claims employers still aren’t properly held to account.
There are also suggestions that thousands of undocumented workers could still be employed in Irish waters.
In 2015, an investigation by the Guardian found that workers from Africa and Asia were routinely being employed illegally on Irish fishing trawlers and were being exploited as a source of cheap labour.
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