The fishing industry must work harder to ease the plight of child workers, the UN’s Food & Agriculture Organisation has warned.

The body said child labour in fisheries was widely spread across small-scale and family enterprises and was often actively hidden by employers. It called for more resources to be directed towards fighting the problem.

Although concrete data was difficult to obtain, more than 130 million children aged between five and fourteen are estimated to work in agriculture, including those in fisheries and aquaculture.

“Although agriculture, including fisheries, has the largest share of child workers world-wide, the resources allocated to tackle the problem in this area are comparatively very small," said Bernd Seifert of the FAO's economic and social development arm.

The FAO is currently running a workshop to discuss how child labour in fisheries can be tackled.

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