Aquaculture for all

China's Role in Global Fisheries

Sustainability Politics +2 more

CHINA - With much attention focused on Chinas growing naval, shipbuilding and port infrastructure developments, it is easy to forget another important dimension of Chinas maritime rise: Chinas status as a major global fishing power.

With a total haul of over 17 million tonnes in 2007, China’s take is four times that of the nearest competitor, and far exceeds the catch of Japan, the United States and other major Pacific maritime powers, writes Lyle Goldstein TheJamestownFoundation.

According to the report, China’s massive fishing fleet is concentrated in the Western Pacific, but is also active now on all the world’s oceans. This issue should foremost be evaluated in an environmental context since the world’s oceans are now under severe strain from overfishing.

Yet, there are also vital foreign policy and international security aspects to Chinese fisheries developments that can not be neglected by U.S. policymakers. Indeed, fisheries issues are a significant security concern among Chinese maritime strategists, because they fit squarely into perceived resource and sovereignty imperatives now driving current maritime development.

As a whole, China’s actions as the largest world fishing power can serve as an important signal for determining Beijing’s willingness to conform to global maritime norms as a “responsible maritime stakeholder,” says TheJamestownFoundation.

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