Podcast | Reporting on alleged labor trafficking off the WA coast

Lizz Giordano takes us behind the scenes on how dozens of foreign Filipino fishermen wound up stranded on a boat in Grays Harbor.

McAdam’s Fish’s boats in the Westport Marina

McAdam’s Fish’s boats sway in the Westport Marina in early March. The company’s 12-boat fleet spends the off season docked in the marina. (Lizz Giordano/Cascade PBS)

A fishing company allegedly left two dozen Filipino men stranded at the Westport Marina for months last year, according to the latest reporting from the investigative team at Cascade PBS.  

The men were contracted with McAdam’s Fish, which decided to dock their boats in September amid a slow season. None of the fishermen had a visa, meaning they could be fined if they stepped off the boats at all.  

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Consequently, the workers relied on the California-based company for basic needs and to return home. They also didn’t get a majority of their pay in the three months they were living on the vessels.   

In this episode of Northwest Reports, host Maleeha Syed goes behind the scenes with reporter Lizz Giordano to talk about how this story ended up on her radar; what it was like to collaborate on it with reporters Farah Eltohamy and Jaelynn Grisso; and the trip they all took to Westport to see where the fishermen were living.  

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