- Sports and Recreation
China's Hunger for Fish
It's just beginning. The subtle war for food. Everyone knew when China became a major player on the world stage, their hunger for food, minerals, technology will infringe on other countries. How does China feed its billions? Just the thought is scary with the world's resources already being burdened or depleted. What will the competition for food be like in 20 years? Way worse than now.
China is a monster for seafood. It consumes more than any country in the world. Chinese fisheries produce 50 million metric tons of seafood a year. The closest other nation to this is India and Indonesia, each with about 10 million metric tons. The number of fishing vessels China has out on the oceans is nearly 700,000. By 2015, China is expected to consume 60 million tons of seafood. The Chinese have about 2300 long range fishing ships capable of cruising the oceans of the world, by comparison the US has 200. China is just coming on line in a big way, a time when 87% of the fisheries are already fully exploited or being depleted. Yet, China continues to use deceptive practices. The Chinese claimed to have only taken 370,000 tons of seafood last year, when in reality it was 4.6 million tons. The Chinese focus their seafood hunting in areas where countries lack resources to enforce, 75% of the hunting is in and around African waters. However, China has been violating the territorial waters of many South American countries, such as Peru, where they have depleted stocks of anchovy. Argentina caught two Chinese fishing ships within their waters and seized the ships and crew. Each had already taken 10 tons of fish. Japan recently intercepted and seized a Chinese fishing ship for the same reason. South Korea did the same.
As their population demands more seafood, this item will become increasingly as valuable as gold. The oceans can only replenish much more slowly than the world's fishing ships can deplete it. One can easily see that one day the ocean life will be gone or how a war for food is begun. The ocean's future look bleak.