Is China’s Fishing Fleet a Growing Security Threat?

Upper- advanced
2020/08/17 15:51

Today's Vocabulary

1.trawlers (n)
a large boat  that uses a wide , cone-shaped net to catch fish

2. sovereignty (n
the power of country to control its own government

3. disputed (adj)
used to describe something that is the subject of disagreement, especially official or legal disagreement 

4. bolster (v) 
to support or improve
something or make it stronger

5. banned (v) 
to forbid (= refuse to allow) something, especially officially

6. controversy (n)
a lot of disagreement or argument
about something, usually because it affects or is important to many people 

Is China’s Fishing Fleet a Growing Security Threat?

china fleet

China says it has banned its massive fishing fleet from catching squid in parts of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans for three months to help populations recover, after environmental groups warned the country’s illegal fishing activities are devastating ecologically sensitive areas such as the Galapagos Islands.

China’s distant-water fishing vessels have long caused controversy in waters around Asia. As the fleet has grown, so have complaints. Recently, about 340 large Chinese trawlers ventured into waters near Ecuador, triggering protests over possible threats to the Galapagos Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to many unique species. There are also ongoing conflicts involving Chinese fishing vessels in waters off Africa and the Korean Peninsula.

Analysts say many Chinese vessels conduct “illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU)” fishing activities that threaten the sovereignty of other nations and endanger the global food security chain.

In waters around East Asian countries, China has been using fishing to bolster its territorial claims. Countries including Japan, Vietnam, Philippines and Malaysia have reacted strongly to China’s illegal fishing activities in the disputed waters.

Meanwhile, illegal fishing activities have caused serious economic loss to countries involved in the dispute. 

“China fishes in countries that don’t have the ability to monitor their coastal waters well, like North Korea,” she said. “Coast guard vessels and fuel for those patrol vessels are often cost prohibitive for developing countries.”

The international community has pressured China to improve its industrial fishing practices. After U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the Chinese fleet activities in Galapagos an infringement of Ecuador’s sovereignty, China announced that it suspended fishing in the area.

Meanwhile, environmental groups are calling on China to be more transparent in sharing data concerning its distant water fleets.

  1. What do you consider to be China’s biggest problems?
  2. Do you think China will become the strongest country in the world?

“China is a big country, inhabited by many Chinese. ”

Charles de Gaulle

“I've read hundreds of books about China over the decades. I know the Chinese. I've made a lot of money with the Chinese. I understand the Chinese mind.”

Donald Trump