The Chinese fishing fleet went from Galapagos to Peru and now goes to Chile

The Chinese fishing fleet went from Galapagos to Peru and now goes to Chile

According to experts, it is about 300 boats that follow the “squid route”. The Navies of these countries have ensured that ships do not enter their Exclusive Economic Zones.

Chinese fishing boats leaving the port of Zhoustan.

The international NGO Oceana has been following the movements of the controversial Chinese fishing fleet that was fishing in July and August in the vicinity of the Galapagos National Park, in Ecuador. And he discovered that the more than 300 vessels did indeed leave that region, as promised by the Chinese authorities , at the time, but they moved further south and are currently at the limit of the Exclusive Ex-Economic Zone of Peru and are advancing almost with total security to Chile.

During their surveillance they detected that 126 of the vessels were between August 14 and September 19 fishing between Ecuador and Peru. This reduction in the number of ships is not due to the fact that the others have left or disappeared. Marla Valentine, an analyst for Illegal Fishing and Transparency at Oceana in the United States, said that “it is likely that they are turning off their automatic identification systems,” a practice that these types of fleets often use. One that is illegal, it is worth saying.

Cargo transfers from one ship to another have also been detected, a practice known as transshipment, which allows the warehouses to be vacated to continue filling them with fish. It is perhaps not surprising to learn that this practice, which avoids the need to reach a port, is also illegal.

“False information”

The United States had already warned the Government of Peru of the presence of the fleet. Through Twitter, the Washington embassy in Lima reported that “a fleet of more than 300 Chinese flag ships with a history of changing ship names and disabling GPS tracking is off Peru. Overfishing can cause enormous ecological damage and Peru cannot afford such a loss. ”The Chinese embassy responded quickly by asking Peruvians“ not to be misled by false information ”.

The Peruvian Navy has been monitoring the journey of these vessels, which would be following “the squid route.” Alfondo Miranda, president of the Fisheries Committee of the National Society of Industries (SNI) of Peru, told the Andina news agency that this route it involves the coasts of Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Argentina and that the fleet will surely “continue its journey south to reach Chile and, later, the marine waters off Argentina.”

Similar surveillance work has been carried out in the past by the Chilean Navy. The Director of Oceana Chile, Liesbeth van der Meer, said that in previous years “hundreds of these ships have been located right on the edge of the Juan Fernández and Nazca Desventuradas marine parks.” She added that “we are carefully following the route and behavior of the Chinese fleet that goes to this part of the world, and that aims to catch cuttlefish or any other species of commercial importance, with a gigantic fishing capacity ”.

Experts estimate that Chinese fleets, made up of nearly 17,000 vessels distributed around the world, are responsible for 40 percent of the world’s fisheries.

Read the article from DW at bit.ly/1002dwflota

Informing and sharing news on marine life, flora, fauna and conservation in the Galápagos Islands since 2017
© SOS Galápagos, 2020

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