Chinese ‘factory ship’ trawlers pose threat to local fishermen in Pakistan, South Asia News
Threatening the livelihoods of local fishermen, hundreds of trawlers gathered in the Pakistani port of Gwadar.
Through CPEC ports, China has invested millions in the port of Gwadar; a gateway to China’s commercial ambitions. Although it is believed to be a rich fishing area, according to local fishermen, the area has seen a sharp drop in the amount of catches, mostly due to Chinese trawlers.
The trawler fleet is made up of “factory ships” that process and package fish for sale in international markets, depriving local fishermen of their livelihoods.
Read also | Gwadar fishermen have deep reservations about China-Pakistan economic corridor: rights organization
Aziz Singhoor, a senior commentator on the Pakistani daily ‘Roznama Azadi’, denounced the issuance of licenses by these Chinese ships. Although the Pakistani government has denied it, the Roznama Azadi newspaper and Singhoor are adamant about their position.
According to Azadi News, at least 20 Lakh people are linked to the fishing business in Gwadar. Their livelihood depends on daily fishing.
But due to interference from these factory ships, lakhs of local fishermen have been brought to the brink of unemployment, and several families are expected to be severely affected.
The presence of Chinese vessels in the area not only complicates the distribution of fish catches for local Pakistani fishermen but, activists say, it also threatens the survival of Filipino fishermen.
According to a report by DW Newsagency, members of BIGKIS, a collective of fishermen from the northern fishing provinces of Zambales and Pangasinan, said the presence of Chinese boats in the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is hampering their fishing activities. .
With China’s fleets of government-subsidized vessels roaming distant waters in search of seafood and China’s ever-growing influence, this has also become a matter of common concern to Hawaii’s commercial fishermen and the American army.
(With contributions from agencies)