On Global Trade & Investment
Published Three Times a Week (with occasional bonus quotes) by
The Global Business Dialogue, Inc.
Washington, DC  20006
No. 75 of 2020

Click HERE for last Thursday’s quote from the main Congressional Delegation. 


“There is big appetite for fish in China, which makes it worthwhile economically to engage in IUU [Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated] fishing.”

Dr. Ussif Rashid Sumaila
September 25, 2020 (Publication date)

Charles Darwin was perhaps the most famous visitor to the Galapagos Islands. He arrived in September 1835 aboard HMS Beagle, under the command of Robert FitzRoy. More recently, a fleet of over 300 Chinese fishing vessels arrived but, unlike Darwin, they were uninterested in publishing their discoveries or, more accurately, their catch. To the contrary, it is believed that, while in Ecuadorean waters, the ships in the Chinese fishing fleet “frequently [turned] off their satellite-based automatic identification systems.”

Today’s featured quote is from a September 25 Voice of America article. Dr. Ussif Rashid Sumaila, one of the experts quoted in the article, is a professor of ocean and fishery economics at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada. He is also the Director of the Fisheries Economics Research Unit at the UBC Institute for Oceans and Fisheries. Here is the full paragraph with today’s quote:

“There is big appetite for fish in China, which makes it worthwhile economically to engage in IUU [illegal, unreported, and unregulated] fishing,” he said. “There’s also a lack of strong and effective anti-IUU fishing policy by China, and there’s provision of significant harmful subsidies such as those for fuel.”

And here is a key, overview paragraph that preceded the quotes from Dr. Rashid Sumaila:

China’s large fishing fleets operating along the Pacific coast have triggered concerns from several South American countries for the past few months. In June, about 340 large Chinese trawlers ventured into waters near Ecuador, triggering protests over possible threats to the Galapagos Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to many unique species.

From the same article one learns:

-- That China has at least 17,000 fishing vessels. That is the number that have been documented by the Overseas Development Institute in London;

-- That China accounts for roughly one-third of the world’s seafood consumption “with an annual growth rate of 6%”; and that

-- “China has promised a ‘zero’ tolerance’ policy toward illegal fishing. 

This entry is about illegal fishing and, implicitly, over-fishing. If, however, out of the corner of your eye, you have been watching the EU-UK trade talks, you will know that issues of “legal” fishing can loom large as well. Add to those the hopes for a WTO agreement on fishing subsidies and you will understand our plan to return to this topic sooner rather than later. We shall close this entry with two recent American expressions of concern.

One is from the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Jim Risch (Republican of Idaho), who touched on the issue at the start of the Committee’s China hearing on September 17, when he said: 

Aggressive and illegal Chinese fishing practices violate the territorial integrity of coastal Latin American countries, raising significant long-term security concerns.

President Trump raised the same issue in his remarks last month to the UN General Assembly, where he said:

[E]ery year, China dumps millions and millions of tons of plastic and trash into the oceans, overfishes other countries’ waters, destroys vast swaths of coral reef, and emits more toxic mercury into the atmosphere than any country anywhere in the world.
300 Fishing Ships is a link to the September 25 Voice of America article on Chinese fishing vessels off the coast of South America, which was the source for today’s featured quote. 

IUU Fishing is a note on these practices from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Rashid Sumaila is the Wikipedia entry for this expert and the author of today’s featured quote.

President Trump at the United Nations takes you to the text of Mr. Trump’s speech to the UN General Assembly on September 22, 2020.
Opening Statement takes you to the opening statement of the Chairman Jim Risch at the start of the September 17 Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on “Advancing U.S. Engagement and Countering China in the Indo-Pacific and Beyond.”

Or Other GBD Notices, click below.