mage from Internet

[Epoch Times, June 28, 2022] (By Epoch Times reporter Dai Furuo) U.S. President Joe Biden signed a national security memorandum to combat illegal fishing on Monday (June 27). It is part of a commitment to help countries fight suspected violations by fishing fleets, including those of the Chinese Communist Party.

The White House said in a statement that it would ally with Canada and the United Kingdom to “take urgent action” to improve the monitoring and control of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities.

U.S. officials have vowed to introduce policies to intensify the fight against illegal fishing, particularly in the Indo-Pacific, as part of efforts to strengthen engagement with the region and counter Chinese expansion.

Some countries in the Indo-Pacific region have become annoyed by China’s immense fishing fleet, arguing that Chinese vessels regularly violate their 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone, causing environmental and economic damage.

In a briefing to the media, a senior U.S. government official announced that the memorandum directed American agencies to work “to end human trafficking, including forced labor… while promoting safe, sustainable use of the oceans.”

The official said the United States Department of Labor, the Department of Defense, the Coast Guard, and other law enforcement agencies will work with private and foreign partners to “investigate fishing vessels and operators suspected of using forced labor to harvest seafood.”

The effort is not targeting any specific country, but the official said China is one of the biggest offenders.

“The People’s Republic of China is primarily responsible for global IUU fishing and has hindered the progress of international organizations in developing measures to combat IUU fishing and overfishing,” the official said.

In early June, the Philippines accused China of illegal fishing in its exclusive economic zone. The U.S. State Department supports this claim.

The United States Coast Guard has stated that illegal fishing has overtaken piracy as the world’s biggest threat to maritime security and has the potential to exacerbate tensions between nations vying for resources in overfished fisheries.

Kurt Campbell, U.S. Policy coordinator for Indo-Pacific, said in May that countries in the region were cooperating to increase patrols and training efforts and to share technology to track vessels engaged in illegal fishing and turning off electronic transponders.

In May this year, during the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue held in Tokyo, the United States, Japan, Australia, and India launched a satellite-based maritime initiative to help countries in the Indo-Pacific region track illegal fishing and unconventional maritime activities to contain CCP expansion in the region.

References:https://www.epochtimes.com/gb/22/6/27/n13768729.htm

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