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Taiwan has world's 2nd-largest distant-water fishing fleet

2018/02/23 18:17:42

CNA file photo

Taipei, Feb. 23 (CNA) Taiwan has the world's second-largest distant-water fishing fleet, behind only that of China, according to a study published by Reuters Thursday, citing the non-profit Global Fishing Watch, which tracks fishing operations via satellite.

Ships from Taiwan amassed 2.2 million hours of fishing time in 2016, while China topped the top 10 list with 17 million hours, which outstripped the other nine biggest fishing fleets combined, according to Reuters.

"China is the most important fishing nation," David Kroodsma, lead author of the study, told Reuters.

While most nations fished predominantly within their own exclusive economic zones during the study period, China, Taiwan, Japan, Spain and South Korea accounted for more than 85 percent of observed fishing on the high seas beyond their territorial waters -- 50 percent of which was carried out by Chinese fishing boats, according to the study.

The study also found that the waters off China's coast and those of northern and southern Europe are the most heavily fished.

China's 2,500 high seas fishing boats are not always welcome in far-off waters, Reuters said.

In 2017, Chinese trawlers were caught off Senegal, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Guinea-Bissau for poaching, Reuters said. In 2016, Argentina's coast guard sank a Chinese trawler that was fishing illegally in its territorial waters.

(By Flor Wang)