HIV risks through the tuna industry

Type Journal Article - SPC Women in Fisheries Information Bulletin
Title HIV risks through the tuna industry
Volume 15
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2005
Page numbers 7-8
Korekoreas — or women sex workers in Kiribati — are increasingly associated with tuna industry operations, visiting foreign fishing vessels that come into port for transshipment purposes. These young women are in the trade essentially because of the lack of alternatives for employment and entertainment. Like women involved in the trade elsewhere in the Pacific region, these women are branded by terms that define the work they are engaged in, which explains the name “korekoreas”. In most cases, women sex workers have very limited education and training. Activities of sex workers and related problems are some of the challenges facing fisheries departments in Pacific Island countries. For most of our island nations, the tuna industry offers the greatest potential for economic development but, at the same time, it brings social costs that most countries are ill equipped to deal with. The saying that prostitution is one of the oldest trades in the world is often used to explain away the presence of sex workers. However, in the case of their association with the tuna industry, the concern is not simply their presence but the modern social and health costs related to their activities. One significant cost is the greater risk of HIV/AIDS, which has in recent decades become a major health, social and
economic issue for Pacific Island countries, and is closely linked to seafarers and the tuna industry.

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