China’s alleged abuse of the world’s oceans was examined in recent studies into its vast fishing fleet, which is accused of destroying maritime ecosystems far from its shores and perpetuating the industry’s forced labor practices.
China-flagged ships on the high seas were involved in “theft on a grand scale, unrestricted warfare on natural resources,” said a report by the SeaLight project, which says it uses “commercially available technology to shed light on the maritime ‘gray zone.’”
Illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing by Chinese vessels was happening throughout the Asia-Pacific, including within other countries’ exclusive economic zones (EEZ), according to SeaLight, which is under Stanford’s Gordian Knot Center for National Security Innovation.
An EEZ, as defined in the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, is a maritime zone that extends 200 miles beyond a country’s coastline, within which that nation has the exclusive right to exploit underwater resources.
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