Chinese distant water fishing fleet (DWF) is deployed across every ocean. It is often found guilty of violating the domestic laws of the respective countries and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), reported Investigative Journalism Reportika (IJR).
It also indulges in targeting endangered species, falsifying licenses & documentation, espionage & reconnaissance activities, seizing territories, generating a lot of sea waste, and violating EEZs of other nations.
Captains of Chinese DWF ships disable their transponders while engaging in illicit fishing to avoid being watched in sensitive areas. It has been observed that the automatic identification systems (AIS) aboard these ships suffer transmission pauses of at least eight hours near the EEZ of other countries.
"Chinese ships disable their transponders close to EEZ of other countries to avoid being detected by the #AIS system; a practice called "marine radar evasion," tweeted Tibet Rights Collective.
From 2019 to 2021, China fished in Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) of over 80 other countries for more than 3 million hours and spent nearly 10 million hours outside its own EEZ in the high-seas and the EEZs of other nations.
China is the world's largest producer of aquaculture and captures fisheries. According to the United Nations, China consumes around 36 per cent of total global fish production and hauls in 15.2 million tonnes of marine life annually, a massive 20 per cent of the world's annual catch, reported IJR.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), China ranked top of the top ten global capture producers in 2020 from Marine sources.
Having depleted fish stocks in domestic waters, including the South China Sea, the fleets of China are now traveling further afield to meet the rising demand for seafood.
Beijing says its distant water fishing fleet numbers 2,500 ships, but multiple studies claim that it is more than 18,000 boats in the world's oceans, reported IJR.
Just off the South China Sea, countries in Oceania are seriously concerned about Chinese fishing activities, which increased proportionally with PRC's investments in infrastructures like ports, and airports. Between 2018 and 2019, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Salomon Islands, Vanuatu, Tonga, Fiji, Cook Islands, and Samoa joined the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). In 2020, Palau intercepted and detained Chinese DWF boats illegally fishing sea cucumber in its territorial waters.
Australia, New Zealand, and Hawaii (under the USA) are the most developed countries in the region, and the presence of Chinese Trawlers in South Australia, Chinese Squid jiggers in New Zealand, and Long liners in Hawaii are a serious threat to their sovereignty, reported IJR. (ANI)