JAKARTA — Eighty-eight Indonesian sailors have recently been repatriated from a notorious Chinese fishing fleet where six of their compatriots died under harsh working conditions. The Indonesian Foreign Ministry announced the return of the crew members in three batches — on Oct. 27, Nov. 3, and Nov. 10 — from Dakar, Senegal, where they had been stranded. The men had worked on board seven boats owned by Dalian Ocean Fishing, a major Chinese tuna-fishing company that supplies the Chinese and Japanese markets. News of the crew members’ repatriation comes after an initial batch of 155 Indonesian sailors and the bodies of two others arrived on Nov. 7 at a port in Bitung, North Sulawesi. They had worked on board 12 DOF vessels. The latest arrivals bring to 257 the number of Indonesian crew members repatriated this year alone from DOF vessels. In addition, six deaths have been reported. It’s not clear why the Indonesian crews of these vessels are being repatriated; the Foreign Ministry called it a follow-up to two bilateral meetings between Indonesian and Chinese officials in July and August. The ministry’s director-general for citizen protection overseas, Judha Nugraha, did not respond to a request for comment. Neither Dalian Ocean Fishing nor the Chinese Embassy in Jakarta answered phone calls on Nov. 16. A Chinese website that compiles court rulings shows DOF has been named in more than a dozen lawsuits filed this year against it and its sister companies, alleging a failure to repay loans. Courts in several…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer