Updated August 10th, 2020 at 08:21 IST

China's fishing fleet near Galapagos islands falsifying GPS location: Reports

China's fishing fleet, the world’s largest, has been accused of falsifying GPS location around the UNESCO world heritage site of Galapagos islands.

Bhavya Sukheja
| Image:self

China's fishing fleet, the world’s largest, has been accused of falsifying GPS location off the coast of the Galapagos islands. As per reports, Chinese fishing vessels sail through the UNESCO world heritage site every year and this year’s fleet near Galapagos hosted about 243 vessels with the Chinese flag. 

While some Chinese vessels were reported to have been registered to companies suspected of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, it was also believed that the fleet may have attempted to send out false locations to mislead regulators.

As per international media reports, some vessels may have been sending out false signals that indicate that their position was between the Chatham Islands and New Zealand, about 10,000 km away from their observed location. 

Meanwhile, a Global Fishing Watch analyst told an international media outlet that while no Chinese flagged fishing vessels are currently fishing with New Zealand’s EEZ (Exclusive economic zone), the tracks mark them in the region as vessels near the Galapagos Islands are broadcasting false coordinates.  

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Ecuador says hundreds of vessels converged 

Recently, Ecuador also registered a complaint about hundreds of vessels that converged around marine sanctuaries off the Galapagos Islands. As per reports, the country said that it had informed China’s authorities that Ecuador would defend its maritime rights if the fleet it not moved.

As per reports, Yolanda Kakaabadse, a former environmental minister, while referring to the Chinese fleet, said that the fleet’s size and aggressiveness against marine species is a big threat to the balance of species in the Galapagos. Kakaabadse along with an ex-mayor of Quito, Roque Sevilla, is reported to have taken charge of designing a ‘protection strategy’ for the island. 

In a positive move, China last week banned its fishing fleet from catching squids in parts of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans for three months to help improve marine population. According to reports, then ban is applicable to all Chinese fishing boats effective from July. Chinese vessels have been in confrontations near Africa and the Korean Peninsula as well. 

(Image: Rep/@gohrhyyan-Unsplash) 

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Published August 10th, 2020 at 08:21 IST

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