A German-owned cargo ship has been detained off Australia after the crew complained of poor working conditions, according to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).
The Liberian-flagged bulk carrier Anna Elisabeth is owned by the German shipping firm Johann MK Blumenthal, and union inspectors say the reported conditions on the ship are "systemic to the company".
Anna Elisabeth is currently being held at Port Kembla in New South Wales.
The crew – comprising of 17 men from Sri Lanka and the Philippines — say they have also experienced bullying and unsafe conditions on board.
They say they have not been allowed to take shore leave since January 23, when the ship was in South Africa, according to the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF).
Australian authorities launched an investigation into the charges after receiving a complaint from the ITF and the Maritime Union of Australia.
ITF national coordinator Dean Summers said that its inspectors boarded the ship and found that there was not enough food to feed the crew.
"Meat and fish were freezer burnt and fresh provisions were very low, certainly – not enough to get 17 seafarers to Singapore," says Summers.