The environment of our resource-poor small islands and
atolls has always meant that life has been difficult in Kiribati..These hard conditions
have had the positive effect of instilling a strong work ethic in our people. Quite
simply, if our men were not good seafarers, fishermen and very hard workers we would have
perished centuries ago. The island country of Kiribati has a long heritage of
providing qualified crew to various types of vessels throughout the world, including cargo
ships operating between European ports and Japanese tuna vessels in the Pacific and Indian
Oceans. In fact, the Japanese have a school in Kiribati for training Kiribati deck
crew for their tuna vessels.
The Seamen of Kiribati have an outstanding record and reputation in the seafaring
- Presently there are over 225 Kiribati men working
overseas on foreign pole/line, long-line, and purse seine vessels.
- There is a long heritage of men from Kiribati
working overseas as laborers in foreign countries and aboard merchant vessels. There
are about 1200 men now serving in merchant fleets overseas.
- The relatively low-wage structure, strong work
ethic and experience on overseas ships puts Kiribati in a favorable position to provide
top quality crew for foreign vessels.
- Kiribati crew have a heritage of spending long
periods of time at sea.
- English is the second language of Kiribati.
- The main island of Kiribati, Tarawa, is central
with respect to the fishing grounds and major tuna ports.