More results...

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Chinese fishing

Chinese fishing fleet in African waters reports 9% of catch to UN

Just 9% of the millions of tonnes of fish caught by China’s giant fishing fleet in African and other international waters is officially reported to the UN, and shows the extent of the looting of Africa, say researchers who are using a new way to estimate the size and value of catches.

Fisheries experts have long considered that the catches reported by China to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (UNFAO) are low but the scale of the possible deception shocked the authors.

“The study shows the extent of the looting of Africa, where so many people depend on seafood for basic protein. We need to know how many fish have been taken from the ocean in order to figure out what we can catch in the future,” says Daniel Pauly, at the University of British Columbia (UBC). “Countries need to realise the importance of accurately recording and reporting their catches and step up to the plate, or there will be no fish left for our children.”

The alleged gross misrepresentation of the official Chinese catch suggests that many countries are being systematically cheated, leaving them unable to devise effective management plans to conserve stocks. The long term implications for food security could be severe because many millions of people in developing countries depend on fish both for their livelihoods and for their diets.

But a spokesman for the UNFAO, the agency that keeps track of global fisheries catches, disputed the new figures. “The estimates in this paper of Chinese catches off west Africa are far too high.”

In their new study, scientists at UBC estimate that China’s “distant water” fleet of 3,400 vessels catches 4.1m tonnes of fish every year, worth $11.5bn, from the coastal waters of 93 countries. But the Chinese government, says the report, tells the UNFAO that its vessels only took an average of 368,000 tonnes a year from 2000-2011.

The team of 20 researchers calculated the number of Chinese vessels fishing in international waters by consulting news reports, online articles and local fishery experts and estimated that nearly 75% of all the fish caught by Chinese vessels came from African waters, with almost 3m tonnes a year from west Africa.

According to the UNFAO, the west African coast has some of the world’s most abundant fishing grounds, but almost all are fully or over-exploited by international fishing fleets…..

The Guardian: Read the full article

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.