New Oceana Analysis Finds 300 Chinese Vessels Pillaging the Galapagos for Squid

StreetInsider

Oceana released a new analysis today that finds nearly 300 Chinese vessels pillaging the waters off the Galapagos Marine Reserve primarily for squid, which are essential to the diet of iconic Galapagos species such as fur seals and hammerhead sharks, as well as for many commercial and recreational fish species, including tuna and billfish, that contribute to the local economy.

Using the Global Fishing Watch — an independent nonprofit founded by Oceana in partnership with Google and SkyTruth — mapping tool, Oceana analyzed data from fishing vessels found near the Galapagos Islands from July 13 to Aug. 13, 2020. During this one-month period, Oceana documented the Chinese fleet, which was primarily fishing for squid, logged more than 73,000 total hours of apparent fishing.* In fact, 99% of the visible fishing activity off the Galapagos Islands during this one-month period was by Chinese-flagged vessels.

“For a month, the world watched and wondered what China’s enormous fishing fleet was doing off the Galapagos Islands, but now we know,” said Dr. Marla Valentine, Oceana’s illegal fishing and transparency analyst. “This massive and ongoing fishing effort of China’s fleet threatens the Galapagos Islands, the rare species that only call it home and everyone that depends on it for food and livelihoods. Sadly, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the impact of China’s huge distant-water fishing fleet on our oceans. The situation playing out in the Galapagos should raise serious questions and concerns about the impact China’s massive fishing fleet is having on the oceans it sails.”

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