søndag 16. juni 2024

TIDE OF INJUSTICE: Exploitation and Illegal Fishing on Chinese Vessels in the Southwest Indian Ocea

China’s distant-water fleet (DWF) is by far the world’s largest, both in terms of the number of fishing vessels it has and the volume of fish caught, operating across the world’s major fishing grounds. Increasingly, this fleet has been associated with a range of illegal, unsustainable and abusive behaviours towards marine ecosystems and crew alike. These behaviours, when considered alongside the sheer size of its fleet, pose a serious threat to the sustainability of global fisheries and the wellbeing of fishers, and the millions of people who rely on the ocean for their livelihoods, while undermining good governance and the rule of national laws and international regulation in fisheries.

This report maps the presence and activities of the Chinese DWF in the Southwest Indian Ocean (SWIO), a region notable for its biodiversity-rich seascape, which is a lifeline to coastal communities across its shores. China has long-standing and intensifying economic and political ties with the region, and has highlighted the SWIO’s blue economy as a key area of investment and partnership. In light of the now better known risks associated with the presence of China’s DWF, such investments should be scrutinised so as to ensure the SWIO’s blue economy is legal, sustainable and equitable.