A Prayer for World Fisheries Day November 21 (from the Vatican's Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development)
O God, Father and Lord of the universe,
We praise and bless you for having created man and woman, calling them to collaborate in the work of Creation through their labour. Today, World Fisheries Day, we humbly ask you to bless and protect all those involved in the production, processing, distribution and trade of fish, which contributes to food security, economic growth and poverty reduction. As your children, with all confidence we ask you to stop the physical and verbal abuse and the indiscriminate exploitation of fishermen, which includes countless cases of forced labour, human trafficking and disappearances at sea. Free us from these evils that pollute the beauty of life, sea and work, your precious gifts which must be watched over with great care.
O Jesus Christ, our Lord,
urge your Church to listen to fishermen’s cries of anguish, who see their human rights and fundamental freedoms trampled underfoot, and to proclaim with prophetic audacity the need for these to be respected and observed. With our hearts in our hands, we ask you to enlighten the minds of the world's leaders, so that they may ratify the international instruments adopted and approved by the member nations of the specialised agencies of the United Nations in order to be able to radically change the lives of workers in the fishing sector and their families and the environmental state of fish stocks. With your passion, death and resurrection, it is you who freed us from the slavery of sin and death, please ensure that no one is kept in a state of slavery or servitude any longer. Give every person the right to work, to the free choice of employment, to just and satisfactory working conditions and to protection against unemployment. Ensure that every person, without discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work, to fair and satisfactory remuneration which ensures s/he and their family a life guaranteeing their human dignity, supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection. Grant that every person has the right to create and join trade unions for the defence of his or her own interests and that these fundamental human rights of fishermen are always safeguarded. For all this we pray to you, Lord!
Holy Spirit, gliding over the seas,
convert the hearts and minds of that small element of the fishing industry that continues to be pitiless and to put profit before people. Remind them that people come before profit and that work gives dignity to the person.
O Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of the Sea,
help us work together to stop human trafficking and forced labour at sea, to improve working conditions and safety and to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, thus creating a fisheries sector that is socially, environmentally and commercially sustainable.
Father, through your Son Jesus Christ, at the helm of Peter's vessel, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, lead us through difficulties and hardships to the Heavenly Port.
All praise, glory and honour be to you now and forever and ever.