This story is over 5 years old.

Tuna Fishermen Speak Out: 'We Are Not Being Treated as Humans'

New Greenpeace interviews add to the mounting evidence of human rights violations in the fishing industry.
July 28, 2015, 3:30pm
Screengrab: YouTube

In the past few years, the curtain has slowly been lifting to expose some of the horrifying realities of the fishing industry. Gut-wrenching stories have surfaced of slave laborers forced to work in deplorable conditions: starved, beaten, and worked for little to no pay to catch our shrimp, fish for our tuna, and pull in the chum used to make our cat food.

Greenpeace has now released video testimonials to add to the pile of evidence of human rights violations in the fishing industry. Greenpeace investigators interviewed workers about conditions on tuna fishing boats, and heard stories of frozen-off fingers, drinking water from air conditioners, and daily beatings.

It's one thing to read about these horrific conditions in the dozens of media reports that have emerged, but it's another thing entirely to watch them described by the people who lived through them:

But awareness is the first step to change, and you don't even have to give up your tuna sandwich to make an impact. Greenpeace

ranked tuna brands

on a list of criteria including ethical labor practices and sustainability, so you can chow down without contributing to these awful realities for so many fishing workers. Even something as simple as tweeting at some of the big brand tuna manufacturers—which

investigations have linked

to these human rights violations—to let them know how you feel can start to change the tide. Because these stories are not the kind that you can just unhear.