Source: John Hayward

The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF), a London-based non-governmental organization, this week published a report on the destructive, largely unregulated, and often illegal operations of China’s immense deep-water fishing fleet.

An especially disturbing chapter of the report dealt with the harmful impact of Chinese fishing on West African nations, where entire coastal communities tremble on the verge of economic collapse thanks to China’s rapacious practices.

The report, titled The Ever-Widening Net: Mapping the Scale, Nature, and Corporate Structures of Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing by the Chinese Distant-Water Fleet, accused China of creating a huge fleet to fish outside China’s own depleted waters. 

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This Chinese distant-water fleet (CDWF) employs “destructive practices such as bottom trawling and the use of forced, bonded and slave labor and trafficked crew” to steal huge harvests of fish from communities along the African coast.

The EJF blamed “a lack of transparency and the opacity of seafood supply chains, limited monitoring, control, and surveillance capacity, poor governance, and corruption” for enabling these practices to continue. 

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