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David versus Goliath in fishing

Click on the flag for more information about Peru PERU
Saturday, May 18, 2024, 21:00 (GMT + 9)

A little more than three years ago, the government of the People's Republic of China surprised the world by reporting that its distant water industrial vessels, which fish for squid at the edge of the jurisdictional waters of Peru and the Galapagos, would move at least ten miles from that limit.
They did so in the face of repeated questions against their fleet, which entered Peruvian and Ecuadorian jurisdictional waters to clandestinely capture fishing resources. At the time they made this decision, a modus operandi was clearly characterized that consisted of turning off their satellite equipment near the Peruvian sea, to enter it without being detected and fish illegally. Then they returned to international waters.
This measure was complemented by the fact that Peru decreed, in 2020, that these ships must use a Peruvian satellite tracking device if they wanted to enter our ports and shipyards. Management that gave Peru a tool to receive direct and unmanipulated satellite information, and generated a truce for just over two years. 2021 and 2022 passed without major incidents; But, since May 2023, these vessels returned to the fray, entering Peru en masse, which stopped requiring satellite equipment from those who use our port services. They made more than 150 entries into our ports, aggravating the fishing communities for not using the national satellite device required by current regulations.
PRODUCE has only sanctioned one case of illegal fishing perpetrated at the end of 2023. It corresponds to the vessel Tian Xiang, which fished for almost 2 hours at mile 184, on September 19, 2023, as established by Directorial Resolution 00623-2024- PRODUCE/DS-PA. The Peruvian State sanctioned them, last March, with the ridiculous sum of 250 soles. While the nationals are suffocated and persecuted, those who trap our pota deceitfully and compete unfairly are exempted and dispensed.
Click image to enlarge it
As I write this column, there are approximately 250 large Chinese boats fishing voraciously within our 200-mile limit. They have rejected the instruction to fish 10 miles from the limit of the Sea of Grau. Vessels with 30 times more storage capacity than our artisanal vessels displace the latter, forcing them to move to unsuitable fishing areas. But the case is getting worse because in recent weeks, our artisanal fishermen identified more than 25 Chinese vessels, without the Peruvian satellite device, within our territory carrying out fishing tasks. Complaints of this nature have been constantly repeated, and the culprits would be punished if the Peruvian State enforced its own regulations.
The result of this passivity is that China, no longer Peru, is the world's leading producer of squid. It has been made easier, with the behaviors described, for this to happen. This time, David has not been able to defeat the Asian Goliath. The biblical story was distorted and now it seems that some of David's people are interested in having the Philistine giant overwhelm his homeland.
We have a new administration in the Ministry of Production. It has inherited a huge problem and has the immense responsibility of reversing this situation. He has sent a positive signal by publicly announcing that he would take effective measures to solve this issue that is overflowing and generating social and political disruptions. They have to make the right decision soon. We hope that they rise to this challenge which, happily, will only require one thing of them: to comply and enforce the law.


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