Some Seafood in American Grocery Stores Is Caught by Enslaved Peoples

By Courtney Cox
The Associated Press conducted an investigation that uncovered modern day slavery in Benjina, an Indonesian island. NPR reports that some of the laborers, many from Myanmar and Thailand, were coaxed into slavery by promises of a job. Others were kidnapped or coerced to work. Many of the enslaved individuals were told that they must pay a broker fee, for food, and shelter as they work twenty to twenty-two hour shifts fishing. This fabricated debt became impossible to repay.  The slaves are fed “a few bites of rice and curry” and are locked in cages to prevent escape. The Associated Press tracked the final destinations of the seafood caught by the forced laborers. Some of the seafood went to ports in Thailand; others sailed much closer to home. In the U.S., much of the seafood is found in common cat food brands and is sold to distributers that sell to Safeway, Wal-Mart, and Kroger.