Posted On 21 Aug 2017
The presence of the Chinese fishing fleet in Latin American seas was warned years ago by environmental organizations asserting that their interest was beyond oil and minerals. The Chinese fishing fleet has had many conflicts worldwide (about 2,460 ships), on its predator passage through territorial seas.
The 12 per cent of that fishing fleet (300 vessels) is now in a maritime area of international waters, whose extension can be compared with the territories of the provinces of Guayas and Santa Elena. They are located in the international waters strip almost to the limit of the 200 miles of territorial sea and the exclusive economic zone, in the Galápagos islands, where sharks, tuna, and giant squids are abundant, and coveted by Asian gastronomy for aphrodisiac soups and medicines prepared with shark fins and other marine species, which are in danger of extinction.
The Chinese fleet applies a strategy that daily attempts to circumvent the satellite monitoring, by turning off their cooperative detection systems, with the sole objective of entering the exclusive economic zone and seizing marine species.
The Chinese fleet is well aware of the weaknesses in the maritime control of Latin American countries such as Ecuador and Peru, as they lack satellite monitoring systems within their 200-mile exclusive economic zone.
The size of China and its economic growth are two of the keys why Latin America is in focus when it comes to fishing.
Until last year, China had developed most of its overseas fishing in West Africa, where Greenpeace strongly denounced that illegal activity and has now turned it over to the South Pacific, more specifically in Chile, Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia. (I)