Chinese fishing fleets are depleting the world’s oceans
China has the world’s largest fishing fleet, dominates the fishing industry and harms the oceans, the Gatestone Institute reported. A study found that the Chinese fleet numbered nearly 17,000 ships, 5 to 8 times the size of estimates and what the government reported.
The UN reports that China consumes 36% of the total world fish production and contributes 20% of the world’s annual fishing catch.
Part of the reason the presence of fishing is so damaging is that the Chinese fleet is made up of trawlers. “Trawling” is a dangerous practice in which an apparatus sweeps the ocean floor and picks up everything in its path. Everything on the way of the trawlers is taken care of.
“Chinese leaders see offshore fleets as a way to project their presence in the world. The goal is to be present all over the world’s oceans so that they can lead the results of international agreements that cover maritime resources, ”said Tabitha Mallory, CEO of China Ocean Institute and Affiliate Professor at the University of Washington to Axios in March 2021.
Chinese fishing boats are spotted all over the world. The Chinese fishing fleet was spotted off the coast of Ecuador in 2020, prompting the Ecuadorian government to alert the U.S. coastguard of the vessels, ABC Australia reported. Abandoned fishing boats have been found on Japanese shores and the likely reason is that China’s industrial fishing fleets are trawling in North Korean waters. Squid stocks in North Korea have declined rapidly thanks to a Chinese fishing presence.
Source: HawkEye 360 / YouTube
Ian Urbina, author of Outlaw Ocean, said of China’s presence: “More than any other fishing fleet in the world, [China] travels farther, stays at sea longer, attracts more fish than anyone else, and also invades national waters more regularly. “
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