U.S., Japan, Australia, and India to Track Illegal Chinese Fishing

Japan, India, Australia, and the US agreed Tuesday to launch a satellite-based maritime initiative at the Quad Summit in Tokyo to monitor Chinese illegal fishing.  

“We’re looking at capabilities that will continue to track shipping” when vessels fishing illegally turn off electronic identifiers, US Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell said.  

Indian media Economic Times reported that the initiative would use satellite technology to create a tracking system for illegal fishing from the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia to the South Pacific by connecting existing surveillance centers in Singapore, India, and the Pacific region.  

“We believe that in the next couple of weeks, we are going to, through various institutions, announce a major set of capabilities designed to improve maritime domain awareness,” Campbell said. 

According to reports, several countries in the Indo-Pacific region have expressed concerns over China’s vast fishing fleet, which often violates exclusive economic zones and causes Economic losses and environmental damage. 

But China claimed it has been cooperating internationally to clamp down on illegal fishing and has argued that it is a responsible fishing country that fishes in relevant exclusive economic zones according to bilateral agreements. 

The US Coast Guard has called on China to exercise more responsible control over its vessels as illegal fishing has topped the global maritime security threat, outpacing piracy. 

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