Water bodies of Latin America threaten by Chinese Distant Water Fleet vessels
Water bodies of Latin America threaten by Chinese Distant Water Fleet vessels || Picture Courtesy: Google Images

The waters from South Korea in the east to those of Ecuador, Japan, Chile and Argentina in the west through the African Continent, along with the Chinese fishing vessels, have become a serious threat to the marine environment around the globe, said reports.

As per recent information, the threat has been a serious issue as the Chinese DWF (Distant Water Fishing) vessels are highly controversial and suspicious, catching within 50-70% of the world’s total squids. “The methods and activities of the Chinese vessels are highly questionable,” reports added.

The reports have stated that the Chinese fleet’s presence in the region has been increasing rapidly, despite the distance of 19,000 km from the western part of South America, which is 22,000 kilometers from the eastern part of the continent.

In addition, in early July 2020, around 260 fishing vessels at the shores of Ecuador’s EEZ (exclusive economic zones) reported the Ecuadorian navy. By the end of July, the number increased to 340 and affected the Galapagos Island part of Ecuador territory in the most adverse manner.

As per the reports, the problem became more severe because Ecuador’s mainland and Galapagos’s EEZ do not overlap by creating an internationally available corridor where any nation can fish. Additionally, the fleets from China often fish in the area after turning off their identity transponder to avoid any detection.

The reports confirmed that half of the fleets are engaged in this practice called “Marine Radar Evasion” in the illegal fishing sector. Furthermore, “The Chinese not only fish illegally with overfishing and kill protected species such as turtles and sharks, but they also dump waste in a huge amount in the ocean water,” reports noted.

The estimates have stated that around 30% of the garbage comes from the Chinese fleets on the shores of the Galapagos Islands, including bottles, marine oil containers, Chinese labelled jute bags, and waste generated overboard the ships. To date, many media channels have highlighted the issue of the Galapagos again and again.

Moreover, a media outlet pointed out the talks with local fishermen who confirmed that they have seen Chinese ships fishing in the area often with disabled transponders of deceiving flags known as ‘flags of convenience’. “The trespassing of Chinese fleets is not only restricted to the Galapagos but in the entire continent”, the media outlet highlighted.

“There have been severe aftereffects of the increasing presence of the Chinese fishing vessels in Latin America such as diplomatic security along with environmental threats, particularly to the protected species which are at higher risk due to unregulated fishing by Chinese fleets,” noted reports.