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HomeBUSINESSChinese fishing greed is destroying the seas, and Russia wants to follow...

Chinese fishing greed is destroying the seas, and Russia wants to follow suit


The plunder of the Chinese fishing fleet of the seas is increasing. Hundreds of bright spots, like a swarm operating at night, can be seen from space using satellite imagery. Milko Schwatzmanwho specializes in sea conservation, illegal fishing and a member of the Environmental Policy Service, stated that “Chinese ships have increased in number and pressure. What is really happening is a disaster. In the South Atlantic alone, it is estimated that $2,000 million is caught annually in fishing. , with an effect that in many cases may be irreversible.The difference with other nations is the formidable ship corps they possess.


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Chinese fishing fleet

Fishing activity between October 2021 and October 2022

Working hours in areas of 32,000 square kilometers

Line: globalfishingwatch.org/ ABC

expand areas

Chinese fishing fleet

fishing activity between

October 2021 and October 2022

Working hours in areas of 32,000 square kilometers

Line: globalfishingwatch.org/ ABC

(Real-time fishing vessel status map in global fishing watch)

In this way, China in turn pursues an expansionist geopolitical policy around the world that tests the sovereignty of states and the economic security of local regions. And in regions of great value such as Antarctica, Chinese and Russian fishing companies have, among others, at their disposal. great feast for their networks that are indiscriminately abused. In this way, natural resources are secured in the midst of complete legislation gray stripes Without coercion, it will have a deterrent effect on violators. The seas most under threat are the Black Sea, the Mediterranean, the southeastern Pacific and the southwestern Atlantic.

The waters become the Wild West of illegal fishing, where finding responsible vessels in the midst of a very active global fishing activity is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. For this reason, these fishing practices have sounded all alarms in the face of increasing tension between foreign fishing countries and the organizations that monitor their activity.

head position

Andres GonzalezLieutenant Colonel and IEEE Analyst, notes in his report that “marine biological resources are the largest protein reserve on the planet, and therefore, Owning and controlling the ocean means ensuring food sovereignty China. Their fishing boats became the new owners of the fishing grounds, reaching the fortunes of the whole world.” The Asian giant is investing millions of dollars in the fishing industry through massive subsidy schemes for fishermen. Schwartzman notes that “Chinese government intelligence is providing satellite information to its fleet in order to avoid detection when it is illegal fishing. be Partners in crime From that catch. Peter Thompson, the United Nations special envoy, explained the situation, saying, “This is like paying thieves to burglarize a neighbour’s house.”

Gonzalez explains that “identifying which companies own the ships and controlling the operations of the Chinese fleet is a complex task. Behind the small and medium-sized companies dedicated to fishing, there are likely to be large companies. At least 183 ships in the Chinese fishing fleet are suspected of involvement in illegal fishing. It is unreported and unregulated. Only 10 companies own nearly half of these vessels and many of them are quasi-state companies.” also Illegal fishing is the sixth most lucrative criminal economyglobally, and the red giant tops this classification.

These boats as noted Fernando Cortenas, A professor at IE Business School, he “bullies” the small boats of countries in the area in which he works. Their tactic is that a country’s exclusive economic zones (EEZs) are considered to extend 200 miles into the sea, and the Chinese Works at Mailpost 201, moving in international waters and on a fine legal line. In fact, very close fishing is like doing it within the exclusive economic zone, since marine species know no boundaries, and this happens even with a core marine reserve like the Galapagos Islands. Hence, “the fishing fleet waits for the right moment or turns off its automatic identification systems, which each vessel carries to avoid collisions, and enters the exclusive economic zone,” Gonzalez explains.

huge fleets

In 2020, the Ecuadorean press reported that the Chinese fleet on the high seas exceeded 3,000 ships, but the Overseas Development Institute of the “Research Center” revealed in a 2020 report the shocking figure of more than 16,000 Chinese shipsAnd although many do not have a Chinese flag, they indicate that they work for Chinese companies. One of them is Pingtan Marine Enterprise, a NASDAQ-listed company. “It is not just a fishing company: it is practically an asset owned by the Chinese government,” said Susi Pudjiastuti, a former Indonesian fishing minister. The total Chinese catch doubles the tonnage of the second country in the world fishing ranking, Indonesia, and triples that of the Russian Federation.

Given this and with the growing geopolitical tension between the West, Russia and China, it has caused ATVan informal strategic forum made up of the United States, Australia, Japan and India, decides to use satellite technology Have a monitoring system for poaching in the South Pacific or Indian Ocean regions. In Africa or South America, this mode is a test The ability of countries to respond before loot hunting. Thieves’ paradise among Argentina and the Falkland Islands, uncontrolled area. In fact, Argentine deputies even talked about handing over sovereignty to Russia and China in exchange for favors. in Ghana They control 93% of the fishing vessels and Iran has leased their waters to them.

While Ecuador against Chinese ships uses Canadian technology to monitor the area Galapagos Islands, thus protecting endangered species. CBC reported that organizations such as the tracking group backed by Google Global Fishing Watch have introduced their technology to the country. Schwartzman notes that “the largest Chinese fleet was formed in the Pacific between 2017 and 2018. There are currently 300 ships that fish for squid, also called jaegers. And they fish around the Galapagos Islands. But squid is essential to the marine food chain in the South Pacific and South Ocean.” The problem is that due to the lack of Chinese transparency, it is unknown how much they actually grab. This means that you are walking over the edgeWe don’t know how close we are to collapse.”

Another area of ​​interest is Antarctica. China and Russia are engaged in massive fishing operations for krill, necessary as a base for feeding marine animals in the area. The Soviet Union began hunting in the area in the 1970s, which today has increased significantly. Due to the increasing demand for fish, China has promoted aquaculture by raising aquatic species, the problem with this is that fattening the fish means having fishmeal rich in protein, and this is where the krill comes into play. This leads to overexploitation as aquaculture is expected to produce 106 million tons of aquatic animals by 2030, according to the FAO.

Reuters reported that Russia On paper, it plans to invest $604 million in krill fishing and build 38 fishing boats. Schwartzman explains that “Russia and China have a joint offensive and aggressive behavior to prevent the formation of marine protected areas in Antarctica, the two countries block the consensus.” Proof of it joint work It’s with the partial blockade of Russian fish products in the US, the shortcut was to send those fish to China, then end up in the US, thus bypassing the fishing sanctions. In addition, he opened new routes in the Arctic with more fishing for Russia.

The collateral damage in these practices to the oceans is the bounce fish, Celia Ojedawho is responsible for Greenpeace’s biodiversity, notes that they are “fish that have no interest in fishing and are thrown into the sea dead or dying, because they do not have a high commercial value. It is not interesting to take them to port.” They fish are still unregistered.

unfair competition

Schwartzman, who has patrolled with the Argentine Maritime Prefecture and has been on Chinese ships, says the impact is not only environmental, as these ships also dump tons of waste. Another effect is unfair competition with artisanal fishing which are subject to the regulations to be complied with. Likewise, the crew of these ships, with the exception of the Chinese captain, the rest are usually of Indonesian, Filipino or African origin and live in bondage Which includes restrictions, abuse and a situation that can last for years trapped in those fishing boats. Schwartzman states that one crew member died on a monthly basis between 2003 and 2018.

In addition, fuel and supply tankers allow Chinese ships to sail for months without going through a port. Also, transshipment of caught fish into refrigerated vessels is one way of diverting the catch illegal to legal. Since in these vessels both traps are mixed and it is difficult or practically impossible to distinguish between their origin. Although China has promised to increase restrictions on illegal fishing, it has already signed treaties in the past that it hasn’t ratified in the end.

Ojeda, of Greenpeace, comments that the solution is to create national parks, but on the high seas, i.e. protected areas. Changing fishing techniques to more sustainable techniques. and policies that follow unreported fishing. “Failure to act means loss of biodiversity, wealth, employment and an effective barrier to combating climate change because the sea has a function of absorbing carbon dioxide, if it is well preserved.” For Cortinas, “The Chinese are shooting in the footbecause eventually they will run out of fish to plunder, and the victims of this cannot afford the costly and permanent surveillance technology.

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