Chinese super trawlers endangering marine life of South America

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Chinese super trawlers endangering marine life of South America

Chinese Distant Water Fishing Fleet (DWF), dubbed as super trawlers vessels are plundering the world’s oceans. Travelling 19,000 to 22,000 km to South America, these ‘dark’ fishing fleets are emptying the ocean to feed the Chinese insatiable appetite for seafood. China hauls in 15.2 million tons of marine life annually, or 20 per cent of the world’s catch.

According to, the Chinese DWF are catching fish near Ecuador, Chile, and Argentina in the South American continent, while endangering the marine life in America’s coastal regions and the nearby the Asiatic continents. They account somewhere between 50-70 per cent of the world’s total squids.

The Chinese fishing trawlers were first seen in the Ecuador coast in early July 2020.  The Ecuadorian navy reportedly spotted about 260 Chinese fishing vessels at the edge of Ecuador’s exclusive economic zone. Soon the numbers swelled to over 350 Chinese fishing boats, thus outnumbering its own navy and those of Peru and Chile combined.

The Galapagos Islands of Ecuador are the worst victim. Chinese Distant Water Fishing Fleet openly fish and turn off their identity transponders to avoid detection, the report stated.

The DWF ships not only fish rare and protected species like sharks and turtles but also dump a huge amount of waste into the ocean. The report said that experts estimate that almost 30 per cent of the garbage collected on the shores of the Galapagos Islands comes from Chinese fleets. This includes bottles, containers of marine oil, Chinese-labelled jute bags and waste generate overboard the ships.

Argentina is the second-largest squid fishery in the world which makes it an ideal location for the Chinese fish hunters, who have reportedly spent close to 600,000 hours of ‘dark-fishing’ in the area. Argentine authorities have come down on the Chinese intruders in to their waters, and have even sunk a fishing trawler flying the Chinese flag in the country’s EEZ.

Uruguay, which is on the south-eastern coast of South America, caught a Chinese-flagged vessel carrying 11 tons of Squid. These vessels are causing a lot of concern as they are not only present near the EEZ but also dangerously close to the coast.

Another South American country, Peru said the Chinese are overfishing giant squid, which is the country’s second biggest marine resource after anchovies. And because of this local are also losing their jobs and the fishing industry is on the verge of being wiped out. reports that the Chinese presence has completely derailed Peru’s sustainability program for the squid population. Also not spared is Shark fishing, which is banned locally but for the Chinese it is a delicacy.  (SAT)