Chinese vessels fishing illegally in N.Korea waters

Chinese vessels fishing illegally in N.Korea waters

Chinese vessels fishing illegally in N.Korea waters

Regardless, continued sanctions and the border closure with China have aggravated the food crisis in North Korea.

It is not clear whether there is a contractual relationship between Beijing and Pyongyang over the fishing.

The new technology is proving capable of tracking previously undetectable incidences of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, according to Global Fishing Watch Research and Innovation Director David Kroodsma.

North Korea would not receive that money, but the United Nations panel of experts says Pyongyang has continued to sell fishing rights, providing it with an estimated US$120 million (S$166 million) in 2018, according to the panel's latest report in March.

Global Fishing Watch said in a statement that the vessels illegally fishing in North Korean waters were believed to be owned and operated by "Chinese interests" because that's where they were based.

"It is too risky for them to work in the same waters as the Chinese trawlers", Lee stated.

"Hundreds of large, industrial vessels originating from China likely violated United Nations (UN) sanctions and caught nearly half a billion dollars worth of Pacific flying squid", one of the groups, Global Fishing Watch, said in a statement.

"It is the largest known case of illegal fishing perpetrated by vessels originating from one country operating in another nation's water". "That's why they're pushed to work in Russian and Japanese waters and that explains why some of North Korea's damaged vessels showed up on the beaches of Japan".

The study also revealed a secondary illegal fishing operation occurring as a result of the first, with approximately 3,000 North Korean vessels illegally fishing in Russian waters in 2018. To track the lighting vessels, which use bright lights to attract fish, the team used high-sensitivity infrared imagery cross-referenced with high-resolution optical imagery and satellite radar. However, ships included in illegal activity in these waters- whether moving goods at sea to avoid the prying eyes of customs officials or dredging sand- frequently do not have correct documentation, making them more hard to track.

CNN has reached out to China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs for comment. Additionally, the waters are some of the world's most contested and poorly monitored, according to Global Fishing Watch, with boundary disputes between the Koreas, Japan, and Russian Federation preventing fisheries management and hindering national efforts due to a lack of comprehensive stock assessments. The study found that such large, unregulated catches are depleting squid stocks in the region, with squid populations plummeting by 80 percent and 82 percent in South Korean and Japanese waters, respectively, since 2003. "It seems to make depressing but all too familiar sense", Park wrote in a blog post accompanying the study. This had immediate effects since the communist nation relies on China for 90 per cent of its trade. The study was lead by Jaeyoon Park from Global Fishing Watch and Jungsam Lee from the Korea Maritime Institute, and included scientists, engineers and policy experts from Korea, Japan, Australia and the United States, according to The Conversation. An analysis identified approximately 800 vessels from China fished in 2019 in North Korean waters, indicating that the illegal activity is ongoing.

Park stated his group's research study has actually highlighted a "fundamental failure in properly and transparently managing a shared resource" which there is an "urgent need for cooperation between the countries involved in this fishery".

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