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Letter on Chinese Fishing Subsidies

On October 25th, 2011 the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Ways & Means held a hearing on the U.S. – China Economic Relationship. The hearing focused on numerous aspects of this relationship, including the role that Chinese subsidies play in the world. 

Oceana submitted a letter for the record to highlight the damage caused by Chinese fishing subsidies. These subsidies incentivize overfishing and help create enormous industrial fishing fleets that span the entire globe. The full text of the letter can be found here and below are some of the highlights:

  • China is by far the world’s largest marine fishing nation, catching 14.8 million tons of the nearly 80 million tons of wild caught fish globally in 2008, or 16% of the total.
  • An estimated 48% of Asia’s fleet capacity is in China, and a significant percentage of those vessels are large industrial boats.
  • China has 50% of the all of the fishing vessels larger than 24 meters.  By way of comparison, no other country has more than 10% of this industrial fleet.
  • China is one of the world’s largest subsidizers of commercial fishing, with an estimated US$4 billion in subsidies annually.