China has the world’s largest fishing fleet, and it’s dominating the fishing industry and harming oceans, the Gatestone Institute reported. One study found that China’s fleet has almost 17,000 vessels, 5-8 times larger than estimates and what the government has reported.
The UN reports that China consumes 36% of total global fish production and brings in 20% of the world’s annual fishing catch.
Part of the reason the fishing presence is so harmful is that China’s fleet is made up of trawlers. “Trawling” is a dangerous practice whereby an apparatus sweeps the ocean floor and scoops up everything in its path. Everything in the trawlers‘ path is taken in.
“China’s leaders see distant water fleets as a way to project presence around the world. The aim is to be present all over the world’s oceans so that they can direct the outcomes of international agreements that cover maritime resources,” Tabitha Mallory, CEO of China Ocean Institute and affiliate professor at the University of Washington told Axios in March 2021.
Chinese fishing boats are spotted around the world. The Chinese fishing fleet was spotted off the coast of Ecuador in 2020, causing Ecuador’s government to alert the United States coast guard to the vessels, ABC Australia reported.
Abandoned fishing boats have been found on Japanese shores and the likely reason is China’s industrial fishing fleets trawling for fish in North Korean waters. Squid stocks in North Korea have decreased rapidly thanks to a Chinese fishing presence.
Ian Urbina, the 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, pulls up more fish than anyone, and is also more routinely invading national waters.”
This article was first published by OneGreenPlanet on 3 May 2021. Lead Image Source: David A Litman/ Shutterstock.com.
What you can do
Support ‘Fighting for Wildlife’ by donating as little as $1 – It only takes a minute. Thank you.