Environmental News from the US:
The United States will soon announce plans to better battle illegal fishing in the Pacific, U.S Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell said on Monday, as part of increased U.S. engagement with the region to counter China’s growing influence.
Several countries in the Indo-Pacific region chafe at China’s vast fishing fleet. They say its vessels often violate their exclusive economic zones and cause environmental damage and economic losses.
“One of the biggest challenges in the Pacific is, in fact, illegal fishing,” Campbell told a forum at Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies when asked about growing cooperation between China and the Solomon Islands, a long-time traditional partner of the United States.
“We believe that in the next couple of weeks, we are going to, through various institutions, announce a major set of capabilities designed to improve maritime domain awareness,” Campbell said, calling it vital to address the problem.
Campbell spoke ahead of President Joe Biden’s planned May 20-24 visit to South Korea and Japan that will include a meeting in Tokyo of the Quad group of countries – Australia, India, Japan, and the United States – which have increased cooperation in the face of China’s growing assertiveness.
China says it is a responsible fishing country that has been cooperating internationally to clamp down on illegal fishing and that it fishes in relevant exclusive economic zones according to bilateral agreements.
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