Nation, US tackle fishing lawlessness
China and the United States will jointly fight illegal fishing on the Pacific together, officials from both countries say.
A US delegation headed by John Davis, chief of fisheries enforcement for the US Coast Guard, is in Shanghai today in its second stop of a seven-day trip to China.
"Co-operation in fighting driftnet fishing is very important to preserve fish stocks and oceanic traffic," said Lu Wei, an official with the Fisheries Bureau of the Ministry of Agriculture.
Driftnets, known as "curtains of death," sometimes extend for up to 40 nautical miles. They can have a devastating impact on marine life and pose a danger to other ships.
Preventing driftnet fishing will also protect the interests of those practicing fishing legally and who harvest fewer fish with normal fishing methods and have to sell their take at higher prices, Lu said.
As part of the visit to China, the American delegation will visit the Ministry of Agriculture's fisheries enforcement and fishing ports supervisory administration in East Sea region, then visit a fishing port in Zhoushan, one of China's largest fishing bases.
On Monday, the delegation was in Beijing to meet with Li Jianhua, deputy director of the Fisheries Bureau of the Ministry of Agriculture, and a Chinese delegation headed by Peng Xiaohua, deputy director of China Fisheries Command Centre.
The two sides reviewed the joint efforts on the high seas of the Pacific Ocean in the past decade.
The US side commented positively on China's efforts to fight large-scale driftnet fishing, the fisheries command centre reported.
The sides agreed to strengthen their co-operation in fisheries enforcement and relative training and exchanges.
The United Nation's General Assembly issued a resolution in 1991 on large-scale high-seas driftnet fishing, prohibiting the use of nets greater than 2.5 kilometres.
Based on the UN resolution, China and the United States signed a boarding/shiprider agreement in 1993.
Under the agreement, the MOU allows Chinese officials to embark on US cutters each driftnet season. When China-flagged vessels are encountered, the Chinese shipriders participate in boarding and investigations.