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Photo: courtesy Ian Urbina/video /theoutlawocean.com

The Chinese fleet in South American waters, a challenge for sustainability and sovereignty

Click on the flag for more information about Argentina ARGENTINA
Monday, February 26, 2024, 05:00 (GMT + 9)

The following is an excerpt from an article published by Infobae:

Redacción América - The invasive fishing methods of the powerful Chinese fleet that fishes in international waters bordering the coast of South American countries is depleting fish stocks and impacting the regional economy, which has generated great concern among local authorities. , who strive to stop this plunder, according to data and testimonies collected by EFE in Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Argentina.

Argentina suffers serious predation of species such as squid and toothfish by foreign vessels, especially Chinese-flagged, that fish in the southwest Atlantic.

The area, located about 500 kilometers east of the San Jorge Gulf, on the border of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), is a treasure of biodiversity, key for the spawning and feeding of birds and marine mammals, such as the right whale. southern.

Photo: courtesy Milko Schvartzman

But the lack of protective regulations encourages harmful fishing practices. During the high fishing season, from January to July, about 400 vessels fish in that area using trawl nets.

The activity of Chinese vessels in that area increased from 61,727 hours per 500 square kilometers in 2013 to 384,046 hours in 2023, according to data from the Global Fishing Watch platform.

The apparent fishing effort is measured by the activation of the automatic vessel identification systems (AIS), a device similar to GPS that allows collisions to be avoided but which ships sometimes turn off to illegally enter Argentine waters.

Photo: PNA

Since 1986, Argentine authorities have captured 80 foreign-flagged fishing vessels, twelve of them Chinese, the last in 2020.

The controversial presence of the Chinese fleet in Peruvian waters is surrounded by transparency on the part of China, whose vessels have been fishing for squid in the maritime border for decades.

This situation has been denounced by various conservation and fishing organizations that have raised the alarm about the illegal incursion into waters under Peruvian jurisdiction.

Photo: courtesy Ian Urbina/Video/theoutlawocean.com

The fisheries director of the NGO Oceana, Juan Carlos Sueiro, remembers that this is not a new problem. Peruvian artisanal fishermen, he explains to EFE, are the most affected by this situation.

Ecuador and Chile do not allow Chinese vessels to carry out technical maintenance in their ports, but Peru did until 2020, when around 180 ships arrived at the port of Chimbote each year.

That year, Peru enacted a law so that only ships that used the Peruvian satellite system could dock, and not those used by Chinese ships, which were turned off when entering Peruvian waters.

But the rules ended up losing validity due to pressure from the Asian giant and the updating of the free trade agreement between both countries, Sueiro details. Peru ended up accepting the arrival of Chinese ships under the pretext of forced arrival.

Chile is also challenged by the illegal capture of species by "the barrier of Chinese ships that appear in Antarctica".[...]

Source: EFE | Read the full article by clicking the link here (translated from original in spanish)

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