tirsdag 16. juni 2020

How China’s fishermen are impoverishing Africa

If Donald Trump didn’t have other things on his mind, here is a story that would make even him an environmentalist. The Chinese global fishing fleet, the largest in the world, is much larger than we thought. It is larger than even the Chinese believed and it is four times larger than the Chinese government says it wants it to be. The Chinese distant water fleet numbers at least 12,490 vessels and nearly 17,000 vessels are estimated to have the capacity to fish beyond China’s national waters.

We knew China was the world’s fishing superpower but the new figures compiled by researchers for the London-based Overseas Development Institute (ODI), show that the Chinese fleet is vastly in excess of the 3,432 vessels it was assumed to be in 2014. Trawling – one of the most destructive of activities – accounts for the largest number of vessels in the Chinese fleet and the largest number of those vessels are in the north west Pacific. The most intense activity is squid jigging in the southeast Pacific and the southwest Atlantic. Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of distant water fishing, though, is that it competes with the interests of local people in developing countries. The impact of the Chinese fleet upon Africa is frankly shocking.