Peru – China’s illegal fishing for giant Squid in South Pacific and Peru waters raises fears.

22

Location: Lima, Peru

Duration: 00:05:31

Source: A24

Restrictions: A24 Clients

Dateline: 11-05-2022

Storyline:

A substantial presence of Chinese fishing fleets in the southern Pacific Ocean raised concerns about the illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing in Latin America, mainly in Peru.

The Committee for the Sustainable Management of the South Pacific Giant Squid (CALAMASUR), chaired by Alfonso Miranda from Peru, said efforts to limit Chinese illegal fishing are still falling short.

Miranda expressed his concern and said the illegal presence of the Chinese fleet puts at risk and endangers the stability and work of thousands of fishermen in Peru, and of tens of thousands of fishermen in the region.

He said there have been documented cases of illegal fishing by Chinese vessels, not only in Peru but also in other countries in the region.

Miranda estimates that the Chinese fleet may be illegally fishing 50,000 tonnes of squid in Peruvian waters every year. He said this means 50,000 tonnes less for the artisanal fleet, which in economic terms represent US$80 million a year.

For his part, Alejandro Bravo, Secretary General of the Federation of Integration and Unification of Artisanal Fishermen of Peru, said the Chinese vessels were stealing and extracting Peru’s resource illegally.

Shot list:

(Soundbite) Alejandro Bravo, Secretary General of the Federation of Integration and Unification of Artisanal Fishermen of Peru

Right now we have a shortage of squid (giant squid), when we should have it. But nevertheless there it is, it only stays on the border and not only that. I hope the Chinese brothers do not lie, that they do not enter. They do enter within 200 miles.

(Soundbite) Alfonso Miranda, President of the Committee for the Sustainable Management of the Giant Squid of the South Pacific (CALAMASUR)

We have been able to evidence and present irregular behavior of some vessels from these distant water countries, fundamentally from China, it must be said. That they evidenced irregular conduct, not only in international waters but also in jurisdictional waters of member countries of CALAMASUR.

(Soundbite) Alfonso Miranda, President of CALAMASUR

We have found that China has a squid fleet that already exceeds 600 vessels and probably today, they have already exceeded that number even more. Between fishing boats, freighters, transporters, etc.

(Soundbite) Alfonso Miranda, President of CALAMASUR

The capturing power of this fleet is vastly greater than that of the national fleet. And of course that immense power of the Chinese fleet puts at risk, endangers, the stability and the work of thousands of fishermen in Peru, and of tens of thousands of fishermen in the region.

(Soundbite) Alfonso Miranda, President of CALAMASUR

Peru has the largest landings of invertebrates, of cephalopods in the world. However, it has been estimated that up to 50,000 tons a year could be lost due to illegal fishing. These 50 thousand tons taken to their commercial values could mean more than 80 million dollars a year that are lost in the case of Peru due to the effects of this foreign fleet.

(Soundbite) Alejandro Bravo, Secretary General of the Federation of Integration and Unification of Artisanal Fishermen of Peru

It is not enough for them to come, to plunder the resources. But also attributions and titles are now taken that do not correspond to them. For example, last year they were qualified as the first producers of squid (giant squid) fishing, for example. Listen, but they are stealing the resource from us. They extract the resource illegally and thus are the best fishermen in the world. No, we think not.

(Soundbite) Alfonso Miranda, President of CALAMASUR

They have industrial boats and Peru only has artisanal boats to fish for squid. What has been very successful in the case of Peru and I believe that it is a model that should be maintained. Let it be the artisanal fleet that fishes that resource.

(Soundbite) Alfonso Miranda, President of CALAMASUR

The first thing to do is to stop this fishery from being an unregulated fishery. Because one of the things that the member countries of the port state and the FAO combat is illegal fishing, but also unreported fishing and unregulated fishing. In this case, jumbo squid fishing is not adequately regulated in the South Pacific

(Soundbite) Alfonso Miranda, President of CALAMASUR

I believe that it is essential that our countries take into account that this is not only a fishing problem. Because illegal fishing activities can also be curtains for other illegal activities such as human trafficking that is discovered at every moment, that through boats people enter and leave who are later taken to work illegally in other places, such as drug trafficking, the trafficking of amaras, etc. So this fishery problem is no longer just a problem for Peru, or just a fishery problem, but rather it has become a regional security problem.

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