Tual has become an 'Island of the Damned' for the runaway Burmese fishermen
Hundreds of "undocumented" Burmese fishermen - perhaps up to 2,000 men - have been abandoned on the remote Indonesian island of Tual, west of Papua New Guinea.

Compelled by poverty to leave their military-ruled homeland for "illegal" work in the Thai fishing fleet, the seafarers have escaped brutal working conditions and even murder on the high seas.

Some have been on Tual so long that they have married local women and have families. 

Others, say reliable sources, have gone feral, scavenging the island's forested interior and clearing smallholdings to feed themselves.

Forgotten by the world, for Burmese fishermen Tual has become an "Island of the Damned".

Murder at Sea airs from Friday, August 29, 2008