The gigantic scale of Chinese fishing have long been troubled by environmentalists who fear for the safety of water biological resources of the planet. China is the largest fishing nation in the world — as the size of the fleet and fishing capacity.
If we consider the small vessels (hundreds of thousands), the size of the fishing fleet in China is several times higher than the European Union.
In 2012 the production of fish (over 70 million tons) of China repeatedly beat their nearest competitors — Indonesia (15.4 million tonnes), USA (5.5 million tons) and Russia (4.5 million tons). These numbers are approximate because it does not include the volumes of illegal fish catch, however, give an idea of the global Chinese “overfishing” — overfishing, unregulated fishing. Fishing is a huge business, China is gaining at the expense of fishing not only on his but also from foreign shores tens of billions of dollars a year. Fishing is often extensive and barbaric ways, using explosives, toxic substances, and the deep trawls that are destroying the, in particular, the seabed and coral reefs. According to estimates by Greenpeace, in the waters of the oceans are constantly catching more than two thousand fishing vessels refrigerated from China, which are floating factories for processing and freezing fish. Greenpeace accuses Chinese leadership that their territorial waters, it has established quotas on fishing, while in the other marine waters is the predatory fish that reaches the “crazy” scale. According to the FAO — food and agriculture organization of the United Nations — the population of the main commercial fish in the oceans in recent years was reduced by 30%, and at the expense of large and adults. At the same time increased the share of small and young fish that will have catastrophic consequences for world fisheries.
In recent years, China developed an extraordinary activity in the rich fisheries regions: South China sea, off the coast of West Africa and Latin America. What happens in these regions, the fishing industry is referred to as three-N: illegal, unregulated and undocumented fishing. Fishing vessels fish in the no fishing areas without a license. Pirate fishing of the Chinese people has reached such proportions that to this subject joined the European Commission and demanded that Beijing put fishing under strict control.
The main “pirate” is considered the largest public Corporation China National Fisheries. On its vessels account for a third of all cases of illegal fishing off the coast of West Africa. Official Beijing fully supports this monopoly by highlighting only in 2011, subsidies for fuel in the amount of 431 million dollars. Not far behind, and private fishing companies, such as the Ningtai Ocean, which has more than 60 vessels of seagoing vessels, including large refrigerators and a floating factory fish processing. Is the Chinese government subsidies for diesel, argues Greenpeace, and allow them to operate year-round.
The fact that Chinese fishermen rushed to fish to distant shores, of course, because fish resources in rivers and the coastal area of China is almost exhausted. A half billion the country needs proteins: in 2015, China accounted for 35% of world fish consumption.
Once a fish was considered in China an expensive delicacy, but the growth of well-being consumption grew rapidly. Today China is not only the largest consumer and exporter of seafood. From 1979 to 2013, the Chinese fishing fleet has grown from 55 to 700 thousand motorized vessels and the number of workers in the fishing industry — from 2.25 to 14 million. Today’s fishing industry generates over $ 260 billion per year, which is about 2.5% of China’s GDP.
The world press often write about the expansion of Chinese fishing fleets in remote areas of the oceans — after being almost completely depleted of marine bio-resources in the coastal waters of China. It is noted that for the barbaric exploitation of fish resources of the oceans are responsible as the Chinese fishing companies and the state, which actively subsidizes the industry ($6.5 billion in 2013), encouraging fish from foreign shores.
In recent years, China produces two-thirds of the foreign catch of fish in African waters, which threatens the biological resources of the region. So, for the last 20 years 80% decline in populations of sea bass off the coast of West Africa. If in 1985 there were engaged with a gear 13 Chinese vessels, today over five hundred. The Chinese are simply “kill” the African fisheries that are not able to compete with them. Chinese fishing trawlers illegally operating in the waters of the Gulf of Guinea, almost completely depleted the population of yellow Croaker, which is considered to be extremely tasty fish in Asia. African countries in this regard have begun to join forces in the fight against Chinese fishing expansion: 24 African countries have sent Beijing a joint statement with the requirement to stop illegal fishing off the coast of Africa. In the eye of Chinese fishermen is already the Antarctic, where they intend to deploy a large-scale catches of krill — tiny marine crustaceans that are the main food for fish, whales and penguins. It can disrupt the entire food chain of the waters. Environmentalists also draw attention to predatory fishing by the Chinese squid and game fish off the coast of Chile and Argentina.
However, the main area of fishing conflicts in the South China sea, which is extremely rich in fish resources, and where active fishing by fishermen from China, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia and other countries. Leadership of China has declared an “historic rights” 80% of the waters of the South China sea, Recalling the maps of the last century, against what strongly object the countries of the region, primarily Vietnam and the Philippines. The Hague court upheld last year the claim of the Philippines and rejected the “demarcation line” that China has conducted in the South China sea. However, the geopolitical tension has not abated. According to some analysts, that is fish resources, and not oil deposits are the main stimulus for the expansion of China in the South China sea.
Recently due to the negative reaction of the international community, China went on a small concessions and started negotiations with the States of South-East Asia — both bilaterally and multilaterally in the framework of the VREP — a Comprehensive regional economic partnership of the countries of the region. Because of the international criticism China has promised to cut its fishing fleet to 20 thousand units, including 8 thousand large ships. However, according to some estimates, the total number of Chinese fishing vessels can range from 700 thousand to 2 million units, and the planned reduction is only a drop in the ocean. At the same time, China has promised to drastically reduce fishing in their coastal waters, but it does not apply to fishing in other areas of the World ocean.