5 Latin American countries pledge to protect their fishing industry Geopolitics News

5 Latin American countries pledge to protect their fishing industry

Marine resources in the Eastern Pacific and Southwest Atlantic, as well as the fishing industry in Latin American countries bordering either ocean, continue to be threatened by fishing illegal and excessive, which is mainly practiced by Chinese fleets. All year round, Chinese fishing boats can be observed in the Pacific Ocean off Peru. The majority of squid travel as far south as the Atlantic across the Antarctic Ocean, past Chile and to the coastal borders of Argentina. The “squid route” is the name given to this passage.

China is actively pursuing giant squid (Dosidicus gigas) in the Pacific. According to the satellite tracking app Global Fishing Watch, 615 vessels did so in 2021, of which 584 were Chinese. According to Alfonso Miranda, president of the CALAMASUR committee, made up of businessmen and fishermen from Chile, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru, said in 2022, 631 Chinese-flagged vessels entered the peaceful waters of Ecuador and Peru.

Miranda claims that Peruvian fishermen informed him of the entry of Chinese vessels into Peru’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). He calculates the impact on the country’s economy: if the Peruvian production of squid reaches 500,000 tons, with revenues of 860 million dollars per year, the loss of 50,000 tons taken by the foreign fleet amounts to $85 million per year. The amount multiplies if you take into account China’s illegal fishing all around South America.

(Source: Insight Crime)

Deterrence to China

Several Latin American nations are taking action to save marine life. Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Colombia Published a joint declaration in November 2020 committing to combat IUU fishing. This agreement is the first of its kind in Latin America and is considered a significant step forward in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. IUU fishing poses a significant threat to fisheries in the region, depleting fish stocks and affecting the livelihoods of local fishermen.

The agreement includes measures such as increased monitoring of fishing vessels, increased penalties for illegal fishing and increased information sharing between countries. The agreement also aims to strengthen regional collaboration and establish a regional monitoring system. In addition to the agreement between the five Latin American countries, the Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor was established by Ecuador, Chile, Costa Rica and Panama in 2021 banning industrial fishing fleets from the approximately 490,000 square kilometers of waters bordering the Galápagos Islands in Ecuador, one of the most ecologically diverse on the planet.

The commitment of the Latin American fishing industry to protect its fisheries from Chinese exploitation is commendable, and the international community should support its efforts. By taking action to combat IUU fishing, the region can ensure the sustainability of its fisheries and the livelihoods of its fishers. However, it is important to note that this is only the first step in the fight against IUU fishing and much more needs to be done to ensure a long-term solution.

In conclusion, the recent agreement between five Latin American countries to protect their fishing industry from Chinese exploitation is a positive step forward. The region is also taking steps to strengthen surveillance and enforcement, while looking to the international community for support. As global fisheries face many threats, it is essential that we continue to work together to ensure a sustainable and secure future for our oceans and the people who depend on them.

5 Latin American countries pledge to protect their fishing industry

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