China’s distant water ﬁshing industry: Evolving policies and implications
Tabitha Grace Mallory
Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), 1619 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington DC 20036, USA
Received 11 February 2012
Received in revised form
18 May 2012
Accepted 18 May 2012
Available online 3 July 2012
This article examines China’s distant water ﬁshing industry, with a focus on China’s bilateral ﬁsheries
access agreements in Africa. The article argues that China largely conforms to international norms and
rules on sustainable ﬁsheries, but that challenges remain in efforts to work with China on the
sustainable management of ﬁsh stocks. Developed countries contribute to China’s policies and behavior
in international ﬁsheries in both positive and negative ways.
&2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
1.1. China’s place in global ﬁsheries
Marine ﬁsheries depletion is a serious global natural resource
problem. In its 2010 report State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture,
the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) states that as of
2008, an unprecedented 85 percent of the world’s marine ﬁsh stocks
were fully exploited, overexploited or depleted . The ocean is the
world’s largest protein source, and approximately 2.6 billion people
depend on the ocean as their primary protein source .
As the world’s largest producer of ﬁsh products (both wild catch
and aquaculture), China’s role in the sustainable management of
international ﬁsheries is at once an issue of enormous environmental,
economic and food security implications. According to ofﬁcial statis-
tics, China is the world’s largest producer of wild catch (see Fig. 1).
China’s estimated total marine catch was 12.7 million tons out of an
estimated global total of 79.9 million tons in 2009 (which is about 16
percent of the world total) . Some evidence suggests that China
may be inﬂating its catch numbers . Even so, it is likely to be the
world’s largest or second largest producer of marine catch (after
Peru), and remains the world’s largest producer of ﬁsh products.
2. Material and methods
This article has two aims: to answer a theoretical question
about China’s behavior in the international system, and to provide
empirical data about a topic important to policymakers, scientists,
and environmentalists. As for the ﬁrst aim, while China partici-
pates in several international institutions, including those that
govern common resource goods, many scholars of China have
debated whether China follows the norms and rules set by such
institutions, which were largely created by developed countries.
Because China is such a large ﬁshing nation, whether China
accepts marine conservation norms and rules is an important
question. To ascertain whether China abides by international laws
on ﬁsheries, this article examines China’s activities in global
ﬁsheries by studying China’s distant water ﬁshing (DWF) indus-
try. The article argues that China largely accepts international
norms and rules governing the ocean, but faces challenges in its
capacity to meet commitments to such norms and rules. More-
over, it seems that while China desires to be a responsible
participant in ocean resource governance, China also pays close
attention to the behavior of developed countries and imitates this
behavior, even when it is unsustainable. In other words, China
does as developed countries say and do. As for the second aim,
little is known about China’s DWF industry because of a lack of
transparency and the modest availability of recent information on
the issue in the English language. Therefore, this article also aims
to contribute basic understanding of China’s DWF industry and
what China’s own views on this industry are, through the
examination of Chinese sources on the topic.
In order to address these two aims, this article will begin with
an overview of the international marine legal system and its
impact on the Chinese ﬁshing industry. It then traces the devel-
opment of China’s DWF industry and describes its current para-
meters. A section on China’s DWF operations in Africa, with
Liberia as a case study, takes a closer look at China’s DWF
industry’s impact on another region of the world. The article then
analyzes some Chinese sources on DWF in order to understand
Contents lists available at SciVerse ScienceDirect
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/marpol
0308-597X/$ - see front matter &2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Tel.: þ1 202 663 5816; fax: þ1 202 663 5891.
E-mail address: email@example.com
Marine Policy 38 (2013) 99–108
China’s thinking and intentions. Finally, the article concludes with
some thoughts and policy recommendations on ﬁsheries manage-
ment moving forward.
3.1. Domestic constraints and the impact of UNCLOS on Chinese
The growth of China’s DWF industry has been primarily
driven by domestic economic concerns. In the 1980s, it became
increasingly clear that China’s own resources were overﬁshed.
The Chinese government has invested in conservation of domestic
ﬁsheries resources through seasonal moratoria on ﬁshing, vessel
decommissioning, and alternative employment programs, though
with mixed results. China’s Bureau of Fisheries stated in 2003
that it intended to decrease the size of China’s ocean ﬁshing
ﬂeet from 222,390 at the end of 2002 by 30,000 to 192,390 in
2010 . However in 2010, the ﬂeet was 204,500 in number .
As the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS entered)
into force globally in the mid-1990s (with China’s ratiﬁcation in
1996), it put further restrictions on China’s domestic ﬁshing
industry [6,7]. China’s bilateral ﬁsheries agreements with South
Korea, Japan, and Vietnam that came into effect in the early
2000s limited traditional ﬁshing grounds for Chinese ﬁshermen.
The combination of domestic resource depletion and China’s
implementation of UNCLOS has led to unemployment in China’s
ﬁshing industry. Restrictions on the Bohai and Yellow Sea mean a
direct and indirect loss of RMB 16 billion annually for Liaoning
Province . Liaoning province is now allowed 4000 ﬁshing boats
in the Sino–Korean and Sino–Japanese areas, which has meant
40,000 ﬁshermen are facing difﬁculties, and 170,000 people are
indirectly affected. A third of Liaoning’s ﬁshing industry and
ﬁshermen has been affected. Shandong has lost 40 percent of
its former ﬁshing areas. In 2009, Yantai City in Shandong
Province, for example, reported dismantling 23 ﬁshing boats
and transferring over 100 ﬁshermen out of the ﬁshing industry
in order to meet China’s obligations to bilateral ﬁshing agree-
ments with Japan, Korea, and Vietnam . Restrictions in the East
China Sea have also impacted Jiangsu and Zhejiang. In Jiangsu,
two-thirds of previous ﬁshing areas have been lost, affecting
30,000 ﬁshermen .
China has sought to relieve unemployment pressures through
development of its aquaculture and DWF industries (see Fig. 2).
Expansion of China’s distant water ﬁshing industry is currently
driven more by employment concerns and proﬁt than by food
needs. About half of the ﬁsh (particularly the high-value species)
that China catches is exported to developed countries, though
domestic consumption of high-value ﬁsh products is predicted
to rise as China’s middle class expands. China has the largest labor
force employed in the ﬁshing and aquaculture sector globally,
with a total of 13.3 million people employed in the sector, and
8.5 million people employed full time . China’s aquaculture
sector has relieved some of the pressure from unemployment in
the marine capture sector: between 1990 and 2000, employ-
ment in the aquaculture sector in China increased by 189
percent . One report advocates the continued development of
China’s DWF industry as a solution to nationally displaced ﬁsh-
ermen because it will have a multiplier effect throughout the
economy. For example, the report estimates that 29 distant
water ﬁshing boats built in 2008 had a ripple effect in China’s
economy of about RMB 3.4 billion (about $500 million) .
Since Chinese domestic ﬁshing has been considerably curtailed
and despite China’s pledges of cooperation on ﬁsheries issues,
illegal ﬁshing boats captured abroad are often of Chinese origin.
Since 2001, the South Korean Coast Guard has captured 3808
Chinese boats ﬁshing illegally in South Korean waters .
Taiwan reported an increase in illegal Chinese ﬁshing vessels
near Kinmen following a Chinese ban on ﬁshing in China’s rivers
to stem overﬁshing .
China’s ﬁshing activities in Asia have gradually developed a
security dimension as competition for resources increases in
disputed territory. In the past few years, disputes between ﬁshing
vessels from different countries in the South China Sea have
increased as China, the Philippines, and Vietnam detain each
other’s ﬁshing vessels in waters that each country claims
as its own . In April and May 2012, relations between
the Philippines and China soured due to a standoff between a
Philippine naval ship and Chinese marine surveillance vessels
catch in million tons
Landings by Fishing Country in the Global Ocean
Fig. 1. Source: Sea Around Us Project, www.seaaroundus.org.Note: The Sea Around Us Project calculates its statistics through a number of different sources, therefore its
statistics vary from China’s ofﬁcially reported statistics. Some ﬁsheries experts believe that China’s catch statistics are artiﬁcially inﬂated .
T.G. Mallory / Marine Policy 38 (2013) 99–108100
over alleged illegal Chinese ﬁshing around Scarborough Shoal.
Tensions in other parts of China’s near seas have escalated as well,
for example in violent skirmishes between Chinese ﬁshermen and
the coast guards of Japan and Korea in September and December
2010 respectively. In June 2011, a Chinese ﬁshing boat collided
with an exploration cable from a Vietnamese seismic survey
vessel. In December 2011, an illegal Chinese ﬁsherman stabbed
to death a South Korean coast guard ofﬁcial. As a result of all of
these dynamics, Chinese ﬁshing ﬂeets are traveling farther to ﬁsh,
affecting areas outside of Asia.
3.2. Overview of China’s distant water ﬁshing industry
Article 62 of UNCLOS stipulates that when a coastal State does
not ‘‘have the capacity to harvest the entire allowable catch, it
shall, through agreements or other arrangements ygive other
States access to the surplus of the allowable catch.’’ This provision
has led to ﬁsheries access agreements to allow a state’s DWF
ﬂeets to ﬁsh in the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of other host
countries. Historically the largest DWF entities are Japan, Spain,
South Korea, the former USSR/Russia, and Taiwan.
China’s ‘‘Distant Water Fishing Supervisory Provisions,’’
promulgated by the Ministry of Agriculture in 2003, deﬁnes distant
water ﬁshing as ‘‘citizens, legal entities, and other organizations
of the People’s Republic of China engaging in marine ﬁshing and
its processing, supply and product transportation activities on the
high seas and in the sea areas under the jurisdiction of other
countries, but does not include ﬁshing activities in the Yellow Sea,
East China Sea, or South China Sea’’ and states that ‘‘the Ministry
of Agriculture is responsible for the planning, organization, and
administration of the distant water ﬁshing industry, though the
Ministry also works with the State Council and other related
departments over policy and supervision of the industry’’ .
The Provisions provide a variety of instructions on regulation,
licensing, requirements, and supervision for the industry. The
Ministry of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries has a Distant Water
China’s DWF industry dates back to 1985, when China’s ﬁshing
industry began expanding outward from China. Despite lack
of experience, knowledge, and technology, Chinese companies
pursued DWF as an economic opportunity. One company, Liaon-
ing Dalian Distant Water Fishing Company, was on the verge of
bankruptcy in 1984 when its chairman Zhang Yi expanded
operations to include DWF . At that time, only 100 million
tons of ﬁshery products were produced annually globally and
Zhang Yi argued that 3 billion tons of ﬁshery products could be
taken every year without harming the biological balance. The
company’s ﬁrst ﬁshing boat, purchased from Germany, sailed to
the Bering Strait. Now the company’s boats are found in the North
Paciﬁc, South Paciﬁc, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. Zhang Yi argues
that with a population of 1.3 billion people, China’s share of world
ﬁshing resources is too small. He says that China should abide by
the ﬁshing standards set by advanced countries. For China, DWF
should be seen from a national food security perspective—China
should make use of world resources to meet its needs.
Zhang Yanxi, China’s then Vice Minister of Agriculture, set
forth a similar view. In describing China’s ﬁrst DWF ﬂeet, that of
the China National Fishing Corporation whose 13 boats set sail to
West Africa in 1985, he argued that DWF was necessary to meet
the demand of China’s population undergoing rapid economic
development and to enrich the food basket of both urban and
rural areas in China. As living standards improve, he explained,
demand for marine products will further increase .
The DWF industry has continued to grow since then
(see Figs. 3 and 4). China maintains that DWF is an important
part of its ofﬁcial ‘‘going out’’ strategy, which was elaborated in
China’s 2001–2005 tenth ﬁve-year plan and encourages Chinese
companies to search for new markets and invest abroad .
Today China has the largest DWF ﬂeet in the world in terms of
quantity of vessels, although China’s production capacity and
industrial scale is much smaller than that of developed countries
. China has a number of ﬁsheries access agreements in the
form of state-to-state bilateral agreements that allow its distant
water ﬂeets access to resources in the EEZs of other nations. Some
discrepancy exists in Chinese sources on the size and production
of the DWF industry. One article, citing ﬁgures from the Chinese
Bureau of Fisheries, states that in 2010, China had 1899 DWF
boats, with a total output of RMB 13.6 billion (about $2.07
billion), representing a growth of 8 percent and 53 percent over
the period of the tenth ﬁve-year plan . The 2011 China
Fisheries Yearbook reports that in 2010, the industry had 111
DWF enterprises operating in 35 countries with 1989 boats,
producing a total of 1.116 million tons, valued at RMB 11.92
billion (about $1.8 billion), the latter two ﬁgures representing an
increase over the previous year of 14.2 percent and
32 percent respectively. Of the total catch, 636,000 t worth RMB
6.27 billion came from the EEZs of other countries, whereas 476,000 t
worth RMB 5.57 billion was taken from the high seas . The
catch in 0,000 of tons
China's Total Aquatic Production
Domestic Marine Catch
Fig. 2. Source: 2011 China Fishery Statistical Yearbook.
T.G. Mallory / Marine Policy 38 (2013) 99–108 101
2011 China Fishery Statistical Yearbook reports that of the total
catch, 54 percent was transported back to China, and the rest was
sold abroad. Tuna and squid accounted for 14.6 percent and 32.9
percent of total catch respectively . According to another report
published in 2008 by a task force examining DWF of the over
1800 boats in the industry in 2007, about 500 of them were squid
jiggers, almost 400 were tuna boats, almost 800 were trawling
boats, and over 100 were purse-seiners and other ﬁshing vessels
. According to the 2011 China Fisheries Yearbook, Chinese
companies have 732 vessels operating in eight Asian countries,
with 456 off the east coast of North Korea (predominantly squid
jiggers), 133 vessels in Indonesia, 72 vessels in Myanmar, and
additional vessels in Malaysia, India, Thailand, the Philippines,
and Bangladesh. On the high seas, China has proﬁtable squid
operations in the North and Southeast Paciﬁc Ocean, as well as in
the Southwest Atlantic Ocean (including squid operations in
Argentina’s waters). In 2010, Chinese companies landed 240,000
t of squid valued at RMB 2.4 billion, and introduced 100 new
squid jiggers built in Zhoushan into the industry. China’s tuna
industry in the Western and Central Paciﬁc Ocean landed 160,000
t worth RMB 2.5 billion in 2010. Chinese companies plan on
expanding albacore tuna ﬁshing since ‘‘as yet international
organizations have no management measures in place’’ for this
species, and 30 new longline vessels were introduced in 2010 for
this purpose . Several sources were in agreement that the
DWF industry directly employs about 50,000 people. Another
report states that in the Putuo district of the city of Zhoushan in
Zhejiang province, the DWF industry employs 6000 people
directly and another 40,000 people indirectly .
The DWF industry has evolved from being entirely state-
owned to being 70 percent privately owned. A third of the
industry is composed of a large Chinese state-owned enterprise,
Chinese National Fisheries Corporation and its subsidiaries, which
maintained 556 of a total of 1652 boats in the industry in 1999.
The rest of the industry is composed of regional middle-sized
companies and small coastal companies . Because of this
gradual change in ownership structure, the Chinese government
now has less control over the activities of its ﬁshing enterprises.
China plans to expand its DWF industry and update its ﬂeets
through state subsidies. China aims to increase its DWF ﬂeet to
catch in million tons
China's Global Marine Catch
Fig. 3. Source: Sea Around Us Project, www.seaaroundus.org.Note: Here EEZ catch includes both catch in the EEZs of neighboring countries in the Yellow Sea, East China
Sea, and South China Sea as well as distant waters. China distinguishes between the two.
catch in 0,000s of tons
China's Marine Catch, Domestic vs DWF
Domestic Marine Catc
Fig. 4. Source: 2011 China Fishery Statistical Yearbook. Note: DWF includes high seas catch and distant waters, excluding catch in the Yellow Sea, East China Sea, and South
T.G. Mallory / Marine Policy 38 (2013) 99–108102
2300 ships by the end of the twelfth ﬁve-year plan (in 2015) for
an output of 1.7 million tons and an estimated value of RMB 18
billion (about $2.6 billion) . One report explains the Ministry
of Agriculture’s eleventh ﬁve-year plan to develop the DWF
industry, stating that the Ministry of Agriculture coined the
concept of ‘‘grabbing the high seas and EEZs with two hands,
they form two wheels turning together’’ . The report states
that this plan aimed to increase the DWF industry to 2200 boats
by the end of the eleventh ﬁve-year plan (in 2010), with 1400
boats ﬁshing in the EEZs of other countries for a target of 840,000
t of catch with a value of RMB 5.5 billion and 840 boats on the
high seas for a target of 860,000 t of catch and a value of RMB
6 billion, with an expansion from operations in 34 countries to
38—though it does not appear that this plan was successful. The
plan also aimed to improve the quality of ﬁshing operations
though quality assurance systems, improved processing (such as a
mobile processing seabase), and utilization of ports that are
farther away to develop new large-scale ﬁshing operations.
China also plans to develop nontraditional ﬁsheries, such as
Antarctic krill. In 2010, the Ministry of Agriculture implemented
an inaugural exploratory catch of Antarctic krill that resulted in
1846 t and ‘‘laid a solid foundation for the development and
utilization of Antarctic resources.’’ China also ‘‘carried out pre-
liminary research on the ﬁshing area, meteorological conditions,
ﬁshing equipment and methods, processing and utilization, as
well as the biological traits of Antarctic krill’’ [18,22].
To achieve these objectives, the Chinese state will ‘‘provide
corporate tax relief; reduce import duties or value added taxes;
provide subsidies to renovate boats; reduce taxes on import of
second hand equipment like ultra-low temperature, trawling, and
purse-seiner tuna boats; provide subsidies for the development
and exploration of new ﬁsheries, and fuel subsidies’’ . The
Chinese state invested over RMB 10 million every year during the
tenth ﬁve-year plan (2001–2005) to develop ﬁsheries resources
(such as tuna and squid) and more efﬁcient ﬁshing technology.
Without such subsidies, it is doubtful that China’s DWF
industry would remain proﬁtable. As three economists showed
in their analysis of subsidies from 2003 to 2008 provided to China
National Fisheries Corporation, the subsidies necessary for the
company to remain proﬁtable rose steeply beginning in 2006, to
the point that subsidies were equal to approximately half of the
company’s net proﬁt in 2008 .
China is the world’s second
largest subsidizer of its ﬁshing industry, with harmful, capacity-
increasing subsidies equaling 20 percent of the overall value of its
catch in 2000 .
4.1. China’s distant water ﬁshing operations in Africa
China’s involvement in African ﬁsheries potentially impacts
African food security and livelihood. The World Bank estimates
that up to half of the animal protein in West African diets comes
from ﬁsh . Fishing is an important source of employment for
many African countries, for example the ﬁshing sector employs
10 percent of the labor force in Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Cape
Verde, and 17 percent in Senegal .
China is already an important presence in West African
ﬁsheries. For example, in Liberian coastal waters, China is the
largest foreign ﬁshing country and some argue that Chinese illegal
ﬁshing and overﬁshing are displacing local ﬁshermen .
In Senegal, ocean products make up the largest export good to
China (63 percent in 2005) and the ﬁshing and shipping industries
are by far the predominant destinations for Chinese foreign direct
investment into the country .Senegal Peche, a subsidiary of
China National Fisheries Corporation, is the largest commercial
ﬁshing company in Senegal, with a ﬂeet of 12 boats .
Exact details of China’s DWF industry in Africa are hard to
come by due to a lack of publicly available information. China
signed bilateral agreements with South Africa (1978), Guinea-
Bissau (1984), Guinea (1985), Senegal (1985), Sierra Leone (1985),
and Mauritania (1991) to allow for Chinese companies to ﬁsh in
the offshore waters of these countries.
The 2011 China Fisheries
Yearbook reports that in 2010, China’s DWF companies had 394
vessels operating in 11 African countries, with the larger-scope
operations in Mauritania, Guinea, and Morocco. In West Africa,
total catch amounted to 166,000 t worth RMB 1.71 billion. These
ﬁgures represent a decrease of 13 and 10 percent from the
previous year respectively, which the 2011 Yearbook attributes
to a decline in natural resources, increased ﬁshing licensing fees,
and restrictions on coastal processing facilities and ﬁshing
seasons. In 2010, new partnerships were reached with Mada-
gascar and Mozambique, which signiﬁes an expansion into East
African ﬁsheries . In 2005, there were approximately 70
foreign trawlers and sardine purse seiners in Sierra Leone’s
waters, and among them Dalian International Company and
China Water Distant-water Fisheries Company LLC had 20 and
16 shrimp trawling boats, respectively . Another publication
(from 2010) mentions 202 trawling vessels in West Africa, 110 of
them over 20 years old and ‘‘in need of replacement in order to
maintain competitiveness’’ .
Fisheries governance experts argue that ﬁsheries access agree-
ments on the whole have led to unsustainable use of ﬁsheries
resources and have negatively impacted the socioeconomic devel-
opment of host countries [30–35]. In Africa, DWF has depleted
ﬁsheries resources through overﬁshing, misreported catches and
landings, ﬁshing in illegal areas (such as artisanal zones or in the
waters of other countries), transshipped catch at sea, or using
inappropriate methods or gear (e.g., trawling or illegal mesh
sizes). DWF has led to overcapacity in the ﬁshing industry, and
has negatively impacted domestic large- and small-scale (artisa-
nal) ﬁshers by squeezing them out of the industry (due to one or
more of the following reasons: fewer ﬁsh are available, DWF
nations pay higher license fees than locals do, or foreigners
destroy the gear of domestic ﬁshermen). DWF has not led to
increased employment, economic growth, or food security in host
countries. Between 1992 and 1996, employment in the ﬁshing
sector in Ghana decreased by 20 percent because of decreased
catch per boat . Fisheries access agreements, especially those
signed with Asian countries, lack transparency. These agreements
may foster dependency on the ﬁshing nation for income from
ﬁshing fees—in Mauritania, ﬁshing fees account for 27 percent of
the state budget . Government corruption is a key challenge
to sustainable ﬁsheries management in resource-rich African
countries, for example ofﬁcials in some countries sell too many
ﬁshing licenses in order to collect the fees, ﬁshing nations may
intervene diplomatically on behalf of their ﬂeets caught ﬁshing
illegally, and inspectors may be bribed to not report ﬁshing
violations . Some host countries may be afraid of cracking
down on illegal ﬁshing because it may jeopardize other develop-
ment aid projects contributed by the ﬁshing nation, for example
In 2008, the company’s total income was about RMB 202 million, while total
costs were about RMB 151, for a net proﬁt of about RMB 51 million. However, that
same year, the company was given about RMB 18 million in fuel subsidies and
about RMB 7 million in other subsidies for a total of RMB 25 million, or about half
of the company’s net proﬁt.
There are probably more agreements, but these were the only agreements
for which evidence could be found.
T.G. Mallory / Marine Policy 38 (2013) 99–108 103
in Mozambique commentators believe that illegal Chinese ﬁshers
escape punishment because China has become so inﬂuential in
that country .
Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) ﬁshing is a signiﬁ-
cant governance problem to which China contributes. Estimates
of global IUU ﬁshing range from 14 percent to almost 30 percent
of global catch, with an estimated value between $10 billion and
$23.5 billion annually . IUU ﬁshing is most prevalent in FAO
area 34, the Eastern Central Atlantic, which is off the coast of
West Africa, with total estimated catches being approximately 40
percent greater than reported catches . Many DWF ﬂeets ﬁsh
in this area and contribute to the problem.
There is a correlation between IUU ﬁshing and poor
governance, with IUU ﬁshing being greater in areas where
countries score low on governance indicators, such as in West
Africa . Of all possible vulnerability indices in one study,
poor governance was the most statistically signiﬁcant in pre-
dicting IUU ﬁshing .
Addressing IUU ﬁshing is important because of the negative
economic, social, and environmental impacts it has. IUU ﬁshing
poses threats to: sustainable management of ﬁsheries resources
(for example by skewing stock assessments); food security; the
livelihoods of people dependent on the resource, especially in
developing countries; and the broader ecosystem (for example by
disregarding regulations on bycatch or gear restrictions). Illegal
ﬁshing also poses dangers to consumers because vessels often do
not comply with hygiene standards.
Illegal ﬁshing boats of Chinese origin or with Chinese crew
have been captured off the coast of African countries. Reports by
observers in Guinea and Sierra Leone state that Chinese and South
Korean vessels dominate IUU ﬁshing in West Africa [31,38].
Of IUU vessels observed ﬁshing illegally in Guinean waters, over
half were Chinese, far more than those of any other country
[31,38]. Liberia has licensed 17 ﬁshing vessels, but one World
Bank ﬁsheries specialist estimated that there were 200 industrial
vessels operating in Liberian waters . Many of these vessels
are based in Guinea. In March 2009, a vessel with 70 t of illegal
catch was captured by a South African patrol boat in Tanzanian
water 180 nautical miles from Dar es Salaam . Guinea-Bissau
reports that 40,000 t of ﬁsh are illegally captured from its waters
annually—45 percent of the country’s revenue comes from ﬁshing
taxes . South Africa has had problems with Chinese poaching
abalone from its coastal waters . Mozambique captured an
illegal Chinese ship with 13 metric tons of ﬁsh, including shark
ﬁns and tuna . Evidence indicates that Chinese vessels reﬂag
to ﬂags-of-convenience states, but Chinese vessels seem to do so
less frequently than other DWF entities .
4.1.1. Case study: Liberia
This section examines in detail the impact of China’s DWF in
one West African country, Liberia, for a better understanding
of the issues involved. Liberia’s protracted civil war ended in
2003, leaving the country faced with serious challenges in
employment, crime, infrastructure, and government capacity.
Liberia has rich natural resources, including offshore ﬁsheries.
Over 80 percent of Liberia’s population of 4 million depends on
ﬁsh as a protein source . Liberia’s commercial species include
the croaker (cassava ﬁsh), barracuda, grouper, bonito, snapper,
swordﬁsh, and butter nose. According to one commercial ﬁshing
company in Liberia, 70 percent of their catch is shipped to Europe
and 30 percent stays in Africa. High-value catch such as shrimp
are destined for Europe, while lower quality ﬁsh such as croaker
stay in Africa.
Artisanal ﬁshermen have exclusive rights to ﬁsh in the artisa-
nal ﬁshing zone, which extends six nautical miles from the coast.
There are about 33,000 artisanal ﬁshermen, composed of three
types: the Popo, who ﬁsh with purse-seining vessels; the Fanti,
who have large motorized canoes with a crew, use large nets and
ﬁsh farther out from shore; and the Kru, who ﬁsh alone on small
canoes with hook and line. Liberia also has a small industrial
ﬁshing sector composed of three companies, which employ about
200 people. Only the industrial ﬂeets are required to have ﬁshing
licenses. Industrial vessels frequently violate the moratorium on
industrial ﬁshing in the artisanal zone.
There are two Chinese ﬁshing companies in Liberia: Dalian
Haiyang, which is a state-owned company, and Nashile, which is
privately owned. Each company has two pairs of trawling vessels.
The Chinese have a processing center in Ghana, and often bring
ﬁsh caught in Liberian waters there for processing since Liberia
does not have processing centers. Dalian Haiyang has been in
Liberia since 2003, while Nashile has been in Liberia since the
beginning of 2010.
The ﬁrst major problem that the Liberian Bureau of Fisheries
has with the Chinese companies is conﬂict with the artisanal
ﬁshermen. Occasionally this conﬂict turns violent . The
Chinese ﬁshing boats collide with the artisanal canoes ‘‘monthly,’’
mostly with the Fanti but also with the Kru. There are accounts of
artisanal ﬁshermen being sprayed with hot water by the Chinese.
Kru ﬁshermen have been knocked off of their boats by Chinese
vessels. The Bureau of Fisheries handled one case in which a
Liberian sailor was detained on a Chinese trawling boat and
severely beaten—ultimately the Chinese company paid for the
damages and the Liberian sailor dropped the case. In summer
2010, a Liberian ﬁsherman accused the Chinese of giving him
serious burns. Not all of the cases get reported to the Bureau of
Fisheries, but the Bureau tries to address the ones that do. One of
the difﬁculties is the crew sometimes covers vessel names with
ﬁshing nets, so it is hard to identify which vessels they are. The
Liberian industrial companies and the Popo do not have conﬂicts
with the Chinese, but they complain about Chinese ﬁshing
practices because it takes ﬁsh away from the local ﬁshermen.
The second major problem is unsustainable ﬁshing methods.
The Chinese are engaged in pair trawling, where two ships drag a
huge net in between them, a destructive practice because it
scoops up everything in its path and results in large numbers of
bycatch (such as juvenile or nontarget species) and fewer ﬁsh for
local ﬁshermen. The Bureau of Fisheries stated that the Chinese
will trawl for up to 6 h, and that many of the ﬁsh caught in the
ﬁrst hour will have perished and are no longer ﬁt for consump-
tion. West African states largely agreed to stop this destructive
practice at an Economic Community of West African States
(ECOWAS) meeting in Gambia. The numbers of pair trawlers in
Liberia has been reduced signiﬁcantly from about 30 vessels in
2006–07, but there are currently eight vessels engaged in the
A third problem is language. One Bureau of Fisheries ofﬁcial
reported that the Chinese visit the Bureau with an interpreter or
speak a little bit of English, but then when there is a problem,
‘‘they pretend they don’t speak English.’’
Despite these issues, the Bureau of Fisheries said that they
welcomed the Chinese presence, as long as they abide by the
rules. The Chinese have provided helpful aquaculture training to
Bureau ofﬁcials. However, the Liberian liaison to the Chinese
ﬁshing companies said that he fears that if Liberia strengthens
these rules over pair-trawling, the Chinese companies will leave
. He argues that local Liberians have beneﬁted from having
cheaper ﬁsh on the market thanks to Chinese production. If the
Chinese leave, then the prices will be set by the ﬁsh producers, for
what will be a ‘‘sellers’ market.’’ He said that there are 20–30
vessels ﬁshing illegally in Liberian waters, so the companies who
are ﬁshing legally should be rewarded. Indeed, the representative
T.G. Mallory / Marine Policy 38 (2013) 99–108104
of Nashile stated that his company would consider leaving if
Liberia outlawed pair-trawling .
4.2. Chinese views on its distant water ﬁshing industry
Studying what Chinese government ofﬁcials, scholars, and
journalists say about the development of China’s DWF industry
is useful for better understanding the ideas that inﬂuence China’s
policies and actions on the matter. While this section is by no
means comprehensive, it provides a preliminary view of Chinese
literature on the topic and attempts to begin to ﬁll a knowledge
gap for other countries on what China’s concerns and ambitions
are in this industry. In sum, voices in China discussing the DWF
industry fall across a spectrum that ranges from expansionary to
Two industry reports encourage the further development of
DWF. It is hardly surprising that these stakeholders would have a
great interest the continued existence of their industry; of course
this is also the case in other countries.
In September 2010, a task force composed of twelve people
afﬁliated with the State Council, Chinese DWF companies, indus-
try associations, and universities published a report advocating
supporting and strengthening China’s DWF industry . The
report states that even though much of the world’s traditional
ﬁsheries are overexploited, there is room for expansion into other
ﬁsheries, such as Antarctic krill. Because of the pressure on China
in terms of arable land and population, the report continues,
developing distant water ocean resources, especially on the high
seas, will decrease pressure on China’s land and domestic ocean
resources. In advocating for expansion of DWF for food security
reasons, the report argues that ‘‘marine biological resources are
seen as the largest store of protein, therefore owning and
mastering the ocean means owning and mastering the future.’’
The report sees expanding DWF as a way to guard China’s
ocean interests and seek international space for development
because, it says, the more international space China has, the more
resources and beneﬁts China can obtain. The report argues that
while the ocean ecosystem should be managed under a frame-
work of sustainable development, at the same time those coun-
tries that have had a longer history of using the ocean have
achieved more say in how ocean resources are distributed and
thus receive a larger share of those resources; in other words, the
authors say, the international ﬁsheries management system is
one of ‘‘if you occupy and possess, then you have rights and
interests.’’ Later in the document, the authors note that there are
serious challenges in the ‘‘race to seize’’ international resources,
including the fact that developed countries ‘‘secretly’’ subsidize
their DWF ﬂeets or act on behalf of their industries through
political, economic, or diplomatic means.
The report says that the DWF industry serves as a way of
consolidating and expanding China’s diplomatic relations and over-
seas economic cooperation. It continues saying, ‘‘the status of China
in international institutions has greatly increased, and with it China’s
voice has expanded in every kind of natural resource conservation
organization, reﬂecting China’s real existence in maritime space and
upholding its rights.’’ In all the organizations that China has
participated in, China’s DWF industry has ‘‘actively won a deﬁnite
quantity of ﬁshing quotas.’’ The report points out that China’s DWF
also contributes to friendship and cooperation with other countries,
by promoting local economic development, providing training and
employment, and fulﬁlling other social responsibilities like disaster
A second report published in 2008 by an industry association
strives to provide a comprehensive overview of China’s DWF
industry in terms of economics and trade, law, regulation and
management, stages of development, policies, future trends,
industry development, and positive and negative aspects .
The report indicates that the industry is concerned about a lack of
competitiveness with developed countries because of China’s
outdated boats and equipment, skyrocketing fuel prices, as well
as a lack of information about resources and risk assessment.
China pays attention to what DWF ﬂeets in other countries are
doing. The report provides a great amount of detail on the DWF
operations of Japan, the former USSR, the EU, South Korea, and
Taiwan, such as numbers and types of vessels, and amounts and
types of catch. The report details the development of ﬁsheries
vessels, equipment, and technology—such as bigger and better
boats, magnetic ﬁshing techniques, satellite systems and remote
sensing—by developed countries such as Norway, Spain, the
Netherlands, South Korea, Iceland, Germany, the United States,
Japan, and France.
China also pays attention to the international legal and
regulatory landscape that China’s DWF companies face. The
report details barriers to aquatic imports in developed countries
such as technical barriers, rules of transparency and origin, safe-
guarding measures, and quotas. Many countries have ‘‘tedious
and strict rules of origin requirements,’’ which, the authors say,
have become a protectionist tool and are non-tariff barriers in
practice. The EU has strict requirements for its aquatic imports,
such as on sanitary standards, ‘‘green barriers’’ for health reasons,
and labeling requirements—‘‘this type of strict system, for devel-
oping countries, is a kind of new trade barrier.’’ For its part, the
United States has a number of labeling and packaging require-
ments plus numerous regulations on protection of marine
resources. The United States pays a great deal of attention to
environmental issues, the report notes (and lists many U.S.
environmental conservation laws), and ‘‘can place trade sanctions
on other countries to compel them to abide by these laws, which
serve as barriers to imports.’’ The authors say that it is hard for
Chinese DWF companies to meet the requirements of export-
destination countries, for example the companies cannot meet a
majority of EU requirements. The report points out that interna-
tional management of high seas resources has become stricter as
well. Coastal states increasingly want to protect their ocean
resources, and now require more cooperation with existing
regulations, levy higher ﬁshing license fees, and are creating
new restrictions. The report notes the recent establishment of
regional ﬁsheries management organizations (RFMOs) and ﬁsh-
ing-quota allocations, which ‘‘make competition intense on the
Several academic articles also assess the impact of an evolving
international marine governance system on China and its ﬁshing
industry [46–50]. One article emphasizes active cooperation with
other countries over sustainable use of ﬁsheries resources, stres-
sing the need for China to establish an image of a responsible
ﬁshing country . The authors note that since the 1990s,
African countries have stepped up administration and mutual
cooperation over ﬁsheries, will become increasingly strict and
request higher returns for use of the resource, and thus make it
harder for China to ﬁsh there. Moreover, the article continues,
resources in East and West Africa are already fully developed,
making it difﬁcult to enter the industry there—these factors will
decline. Furthermore, the authors warn, if China does not adopt a
cooperative attitude with coastal countries on protecting ﬁsh-
eries resources nor abide by their laws, then China will lose the
permission from many host countries to ﬁsh there. Argentina
and Uruguay (as well as other South American countries), where
China ﬁshes for squid, have changed their regulations over
administration and maritime surveillance, equipment, statistics
and reports, and handling of ﬁsh—if China does not meet some
of these new conditions, the article states, China will lose the
T.G. Mallory / Marine Policy 38 (2013) 99–108 105
permits that it has worked hard to earn. The article does caution
that some developed DWF countries, in order to enhance their
own competitiveness in areas, will certainly use the excuse of
resource conservation to keep other new countries out, such as
by signing agreements with these host countries that limit the
number of countries and ﬁshing boats in certain areas. But
overall, the piece calls for strengthening responsible ﬁshing;
improving DWF administration such as observation and mon-
itoring, registration and permit systems, and quality control; and
creating a ﬁshing statistical system so China can macro-manage
its ﬁshing scale, improve knowledge of ﬁsheries working condi-
tions, and fulﬁll obligations to provide necessary data to inter-
national organizations and concerned countries. Finally, the
article calls for adjusting the subsidy system so that it is more
‘‘green,’’ for example by providing stakeholders with training
about sustainable ﬁshing according to UNCLOS.
Another article outlines the major problems facing the
sustainable development of China’s DWF industry, including:
(1) DWF ﬂeets increasing too fast to protect ocean resources;
(2) marine pollution not yet being effectively curbed; (3) dramatic
increases in the costs of production, especially fuel; (4) a drastic
reduction of ﬁshing zones because of UNCLOS, leading to a loss of
income for ﬁshermen; (5) a continuous decline in ﬁshing
resources, for example ﬁsh becoming smaller; and (6) the price
of ﬁsh being too low .
While some Chinese ﬁsheries scholars point to the ecological
strains on global ﬁsheries in their publications, others appear to
not take them very seriously, nor do they seem to consider the
socioeconomic impact of the ﬁshing activities of DWF ﬂeets on
host countries. One article in particular merits some extended
discussion to illustrate this attitude. In ‘‘Research on Manage-
ment Models of China’s Fishing Companies in Africa,’’ the author
opens by describing the ‘‘rich, uncontaminated, and proﬁtable’’
ﬁsheries resources in Africa that provide ‘‘a hot spot’’ of oppor-
tunities for China, a country, which in contrast, is plagued by
overcapacity in its own ﬁsheries . The author entreats the
reader to understand local policies and conditions in Africa, and
to abide by local laws, lest ‘‘opportunities become a trap.’’ The
author provides three cases studies in Equatorial Guinea, Mor-
occo, and Cameroon from which Chinese distant water ﬁshing
companies can learn management techniques. The author then
delves into the ﬁrst case study on Guinea. He explains that while
Guinea has a long coastline with rich natural resources, there are
many disadvantages: because Guinea is among the weaker
economies of the third world, consumption of ﬁsh in Guinea is
so low that selling ﬁsh in Guinea is not proﬁtable enough to
cover production costs; to protect artisanal ﬁshers, Guinean
regulations do not allow issuance of long-term permits to
foreign industrial vessels—only monthly or six-month tempor-
ary permits are available to outsiders; and ﬁnally, because
Guinea lacks port infrastructure such as cold storage facilities,
ﬁsh products must be transported to Las Palmas in Gran Canaria.
This situation ‘‘results in a unique model of management:
purchase of free permits, ‘guerrilla-style’ ﬁshing.’’ The author
elaborates that ‘‘when the resources are good,’’ Chinese ﬁshing
companies can buy temporary ﬁshing permits to legally ﬁsh in
Guinea, but ‘‘when resources are bad, Chinese ﬁshing companies
can immediately withdraw from Guinea in order to avoid losses.
This management mode is economical and ﬂexible.’’ The author
then describes how a World Bank project to provide ﬁshing
boats in Morocco failed because ‘‘Moroccan ﬁshermen lacked
management knowledge and ﬁshing technology, were unable to
make a proﬁt, and thus unable to repay the cost of the boats.’’ He
suggests a joint-venture scheme with Morocco that involves
valuing Chinese ﬁshing boats at double their true cost, Morocco’s
need to rely on China for repair and importing gear from China,
and the most important positions on the boats and ﬁsh proces-
sing jobs going to Chinese (‘‘even if Morocco wants employment
of locals,’’ these Chinese positions ‘‘Morocco cannot replace’’
with locals). After this, author describes a third management
model with Cameroon. Because Cameroon does not allow for-
eigners to ﬁsh in national waters, a Chinese company can form a
joint venture with a local Cameroonian company and then rent
boats to the joint venture. The Cameroonian partner obtains
authorization, but China independently manages the company.
The Chinese partner directly pays the Cameroonian partner the
ﬁshing license and usage fees. Thus, ‘‘China’s pair-trawling
technology not only gets permission for use in Cameroonian
ﬁshing areas, but also can be used to its fullest extent.’’ China’s
independent management of the joint venture company means
that it can ‘‘avoid interference from the Cameroonian partner.’’
Finally, China ‘‘only has to pay the Cameroonian side the annual
ﬁshing license and usage fees,’’ and then ‘‘using pair-trawling
technology, the Chinese side can obtain the biggest proﬁt.’’ The
article ends with a nod to ‘‘win-win cooperation.’’
This article is somewhat unusual because a scholar afﬁliated
with the French department of Dalian Foreign Language Univer-
sity wrote it, as opposed to someone afﬁliated with a ﬁsheries-
oriented institution. While Dalian is an important ﬁshing city and
he uses three francophone African countries as examples, it is
unclear where the author’s expertise comes from, what his
sources are, or whether the models he describes have all actually
been tested in Africa. While the publication itself is not well
nonetheless this article was found in a key Chinese
academic research database. Regardless of whether or not the
article is representative of the majority of Chinese ﬁshing com-
panies, it is at the very least a (remarkably candid) voice in the
public discussion over Chinese DWFs.
The article has no mention of sustainable ﬁshing or contribu-
tion to local community development, and seems mainly con-
cerned with how to circumvent local laws (presumably aimed at
addressing resource conservation and local livelihood in the ﬁrst
place) in order to maximize proﬁt. The very name ‘‘guerrilla
ﬁshing’’ connotes destruction, the word for ‘‘guerrilla’’ in Chinese
literally translating as ‘‘moving attack’’—it certainly does not
imply long-term natural resource management, nor does the
author’s subsequent description of what ‘‘guerrilla ﬁshing’’ is.
Pair-trawling is one of the most unsustainable forms of ﬁshing
and the author comes across as almost gleeful at the idea of
Chinese companies trawling freely without Cameroonian inter-
ference. Mention of the local populations—from the Guineans too
poor to purchase ﬁsh, to Moroccan labor, to Cameroonian busi-
ness partners—seems utilitarian.
5. Discussion and conclusion
China on the whole has demonstrated a record of cooperation
with regard to sustainable ﬁsheries management, but regulates
domestic ﬁshing better than DWF. The 1995 ‘‘Code of Conduct
for Responsible Fisheries’’ is a non-binding agreement that lays
out guidelines for the sustainable and responsible use of ﬁsh-
eries . A 2009 study scores 53 of the top ﬁshing countries
according to Code of Conduct guidelines across nine indicators in
six evaluation ﬁelds . Overall, China ranked 22 out of 53
countries, with an average score just above failing, ahead of
Spain and Russia, but behind the United States, Japan, and South
According to the website, www.newwestchina.com, the publication is run
by the Shaanxi Provincial Propaganda Department and the Shaanxi Academy of
Social Sciences with the mission of advocating for the development of western
T.G. Mallory / Marine Policy 38 (2013) 99–108106
Korea. On an indicator comparing intentions and actions, China
scored passing on intentions but failing on actions, indicating
an enforcement problem. The study on China that informed
this report noted that Chinese domestic ﬁshing is better regu-
lated than DWF . China scored more poorly on important
indicators for international ﬁshing—measures of illegal, unre-
ported, and unregulated (IUU) ﬁshing and so-called ﬂags of
convenience—than it did on domestic measures. On IUU ﬁshing,
China ranked 44 out of 53, with a failing score. On ﬂags of
convenience, China ranked 46 out of 53, with a failing score, but
higher than the other major DWF entities of Japan, Russia, South
Korea, Spain, and Taiwan.
Several international agreements attend to ﬁsheries issues
that UNCLOS left unaddressed. Many of these agreements have
important implications for DWF nations. China has a mixed
record with regard to these conventions .
China has signed but not ratiﬁed 1995 ‘‘Fish Stocks Agreement’’
because it disagrees with the understandings of enforcement
authorization and use of force during inspections of ﬁshing
vessels by authorities other than the ﬂag state [58,59]. However,
even though China has not ratiﬁed the agreement, according to
the agreement’s guidelines China is a member of a number of
RFMOs, including the International Whaling Commission (IWC);
the international Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic
Tunas (ICCAT); the Asia-Paciﬁc Fisheries Commission (AFPC);
the Western and Central Paciﬁc Fisheries Commission (WCPFC);
the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC); and the
Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC).
China has also signed but not ratiﬁed the 1995 ‘‘Compliance
Agreement,’’ which requires ﬂag states to license high seas
ﬁshing vessels; monitor vessels ﬁshing on the high seas so that
they act in accordance with sustainable ﬁshing practices; not
allow authorization of vessels that act in violation of conserva-
tion measures; and share relevant vessel information with the
The 2001 ‘‘Plan of Action on IUU Fishing’’ is a non-binding
agreement that addresses IUU ﬁshing . The Plan was
followed in 2009 by a binding ‘‘Port State Measures Agreement,’’
which would require port states to inspect ﬁshing vessels
and deny entry to those engaged in IUU ﬁshing . China has
The Chinese government no longer has as much control over
Chinese companies, even state-owned enterprises, as it once did,
which makes it difﬁcult for the government to supervise the
actions of DWF enterprises. The DWF industry prospect report
admitted that industry cooperation with the rules is much looser
now that small- and medium-sized private companies comprise
about 70 percent of the industry, as opposed to 25 years ago when
the industry was only state-owned. Because the industry is now
less organized and less skilled, the report explained, it is easier
for conﬂicts to develop in host countries if foreign operations
overlap with local ones. The Chinese government does not even
have much say over state-owned companies—government
may appoint the leadership, but day-to-day management is up
to the leaders.
China faces capacity challenges in terms of resources
and education. On December 22, 2010, the Chinese govern-
ment announced that it would be dispatching state observers
to monitor DWF operations, which ‘‘is necessary for the govern-
ment’s implementation of international agreements and con-
ventions yand plays an important role in maintaining
international ﬁshing rights and building an image of a respon-
sible ﬁshing country’’ . But Chinese ﬁshing companies
struggle to keep accurate logbooks and observer data, properly
identify bycatch and properly attribute catch to the correct
country of origin. The companies also lack language ability. In
one report that detailed ﬁsh processing and traceability in China,
the author identiﬁed several weaknesses in the supply chain that
made it difﬁcult to identify origins of the catch that feed China’s
ﬁsh processing industry, much of the ﬁsh undoubtedly coming
from IUU ﬁshing . Importantly, developed countries are
complicit in this system of trade and processing because most
of the ﬁnal products (the majority being high-end ﬁsh such as
salmon, whiteﬁsh and tuna) end up on European, American, and
Developed countries play a role in shaping Chinese behavior
in both desirable and less than desirable ways. While Chinese
analysts largely accept international norms and laws on
ﬁsheries, at the same time they also observe carefully how
developed countries deal with the same norms and laws in
practice. China pays close attention to the level of technology
and ﬁshing methods used by developed countries and strives
to be similarly competitive in its own ﬁshing methods. More-
over, great demand in developed countries for products from
unsustainable ﬁsheries is a driver of the expansion of the
Chinese DWF industry. Fisheries are a ‘‘weakest link’’ type of
collective action conundrum, which means that unless all
participants cooperate to manage the resource sustainably, the
collective good will not be provided . Thus if the behavior of
developed countries belies their rhetoric of sustainability, China
will not have any reason to believe it should not act in a similar
In terms of policy considerations, promoting consumer aware-
ness and education about sustainable ﬁshing is important both in
China and developed countries. In China, even though many
government documents allude to sustainable ﬁshing, in many
cases it does not seem like these documents actually internalize
environmental awareness but rather mention sustainable ﬁshing
because it is politically correct to do so. Chinese stakeholders
additionally lack scientiﬁc information about sustainability. Even
though environmental awareness is more substantial in devel-
oped countries, consumers there are not making sustainable
seafood choices. Improving consumer- and producer-based pro-
grams and creating better traceability systems would help
address this problem. Importing countries can also ratify the Port
State Measures Agreement domestically to prevent contributing
to IUU ﬁshing. Finally, developed countries should continue to
strengthen governance abroad, particularly in developing coun-
tries like in West Africa.
 FAO. The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2010. /http://www.fao.
 UNDP. World Oceans Day: Oceans of Life. /www.undp.orgS; June 8, 2010.
 Watson R, Pauly D. Systematic distortions in world ﬁsheries catch trends.
 Ministry of Agriculture Bureau of Fisheries. Ministry of Agriculture Bureau of
Fisheries Notice of Views on the Fishing Boats Control System Measures.
2003–2010. /http://law.lawtime.cn/d391771396865.htmlS; 12 November
 Ministry of Agriculture Bureau of Fisheries. 2011 China Fisheries Statistical
Yearbook. Beijing: China Agriculture Publishing Company; May 2011.
 Xue G. China and International Fisheries Law and Policy. Leiden: Martinus
Nijhoff Publishers; 2005.
 Ferraro G. Dissertation on domestic implementation of international regimes
in developing countries: the case of marine ﬁsheries in China. Leuven:
Katholieke Universiteit; 2010.
 Guo W, Huang S, Cao S. Analysis of the international ﬁsheries legal system
and its impact on global ﬁshing. Ocean Dev Manage 2002;2:51–57.
Xue Guifang reviewed some of the laws and regulations that China has
adopted as a ﬂag state and concludes that China has largely acted responsibly,
even though China could improve in some areas.
T.G. Mallory / Marine Policy 38 (2013) 99–108 107
 Shandong provincial oceanic and ﬁshery information network. Yantai Makes
Solid And Effective Progress In Its Work To Dismantle Fishing Boats. /http://
www.hssd.gov.cn/yygl.asp?id=26798S; 3 September 2009.
 Supporting and strengthening distant water ﬁsheries—task force. Support
Distant Water Fisheries as a Strategic Industry. /http://www.stats.gov.cn/
tjshujia/zggqgl/t20101018_402676860.htmS; September 2010.
 Zhou Y, Qi F. Phoenix Weekly; January 2011.
 Huang N. 37 Chinese ﬁshermen nabbed for illegal ﬁshing near Kinmen.
Central News Agency; 16 July 2008.
 Xia L. China’s largest ﬁshery patrol ship rushes to South China Sea; escort and
ﬁshery protection to declare China’s sovereignty. Zhongguo Tongxun She; 17
 Ministry of Agriculture. Distant water ﬁshing supervisory provisions; 14
April 2003 (entered into force 1 June 2003), Articles 2 and 3. /http://www.
 Ji F. Life of a man of the ocean. China Marine Products; December 2008. P.
 Zhang Y. 1995 grasping opportunity and developing the distant-water ﬁshing
industry (1995). China Fishing Economy Research; March 1995.
 Fourth Meeting of the Ninth National People’s Congress. National economic
and social development tenth ﬁve-year plan. /http://www.people.com.cn/
GB/shizheng/16/20010318/419582.htmlS; 15 March 2001.
 In the eleventh ﬁve-year plan, China achieves rapid development of its
distant water ﬁsheries. /http://www.jinnong.cn/sc/news/2011/2/25/
20112251417624259.shtmlS; 25 February 2011.
 Ministry of Agriculture Bureau of Fisheries. 2011 China ﬁsheries yearbook.
Beijing: China Agriculture Publishing Company; October 2011.
 China Fisheries Association Distant Water Fisheries Subsection. Development
of China’s distant water ﬁshing industry: prospect and feasibility investiga-
tive report; 30 January 2008.
 Wen, Q. Analysis of competitiveness of distant-water ﬁsheries. Fish Sci
 Tang J, Shi G. Management of Antarctic krill and its implications for China’s
distant water ﬁsheries. Nat Resour 2010;32(1):11–18.
 Tao Y, Sun C, Zhou Y. Economic beneﬁt analysis for distant water ﬁshing
enterprises: the case of China National ﬁshing corporation. J Shanxi Agri Sci
 Sumaila U, et al. A bottom-up re-estimation of global ﬁsheries subsidies. J
 World Bank. Project Appraisal Document for the West African Regional
Fisheries Program APL-1; 2009.
 OECD. Fisheries for coherence in West Africa: policy coherence in the
ﬁsheries sector in seven West African countries; 2008.
 Wrelton S. Fishing in troubled waters. geographical; June 2009. p. 38–43.
 Hazard E, et al. The developmental impact of Asian drivers on Senegal. World
 Chai X, Shi J, Tang Z. Status of marine capture ﬁsheries and recommendation
of its development in Sierra Leone. Modern Fisheries Information April
2006;21(4):21–23, cont. 36.
 Alder J, Sumaila UR. Western Africa: a ﬁsh basket of Europe past and present.
J Environ Develop 2004;13(2):156–178.
 EJF. Pirate ﬁsh on your plate—tracking illegally-caught ﬁsh from West Africa
into the European market. London: Environmental Justice Foundation; 2007.
 EJF. Dirty ﬁsh—how EU hygiene standards facilitates illegal ﬁshing in West
Africa. London: Environmental Justice Foundation; 2009.
 Mwikya SM. Fisheries access agreements: trade and development issues.
ICTSD Natural Resources. International Trade and Sustainable Development
Series Issue Paper No. 2. Geneva. International Centre for Trade and Sustain-
able Development; 2006.
 Standing A Corruption and industrial ﬁshing in Africa. Chr. Michelsen
Institute U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre U4 ISSUE; 2008.p. 7.
 Walmsley SF, Barnes CT, Payne IA, Howard CA. Comparative study of the
impact of ﬁsheries partnership agreements––technical report. MRAG, CRE &
NRI; May 2007.
 Atta-Mills J, Alder J, Sumaila UR. The decline of a regional ﬁshing nation: the
case of Ghana and West Africa. Nat Res Forum 2004;28:13–21.
 Agnew DJ, Pearce J, Pramod G, Peatman T, Watson R, et al. Estimating the
Worldwide Extent of Illegal Fishing. PLoS ONE 2009;4(2): e4570.
 Marine Resources Assessment Group Ltd. (MRAG). Review of impacts of
illegal, unreported and unregulated ﬁshing on developing countries. Report
prepared by MRAG for the UK’s Department for International Development
(DFID), with support from the Norwegian Agency for Development Coopera-
tion (NORAD); July 2005.
 Interviews in Monrovia; 25–26 August 2010.
 Betty B Lack of interpreters fail illegal ﬁshing case. Daily News (Tanzania); 14
 Guinea-Bissau seizes Chinese, South Korean trawlers over illegal ﬁshing.
Agence France-Presse; 5 May 2006.
 South Africa apprehends 9 people on Chinese vessel for illegal ﬁshing. SAPA;
15 December 2005.
 Maputo Mediafax; 2 November 2005.
 Gianni M, Simpson W. The Changing Nature of High Seas Fishing: how ﬂags
of convenience provide cover for illegal, unreported and unregulated ﬁshing.
Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, International
Transport Workers’ Federation, and WWF International; 2005.
 Kebe M A livelihoods analysis of coastal ﬁsheries communities in Liberia. FAO
Fisheries and Aquaculture Circular no. 1043, Rome: FAO; 2009.
 Huan J, Huan S. International law of the sea and the development of chinese
distant-water ﬁsheries. Fish Manage 2000:57–59.
 Guo W. Observations and considerations of the practice of international law
of the sea. Southeast Asian Affairs, 2001;3:80–85.
 Lin Z, Zhang M. The effect of the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic
Marine Living Resource (CCAMLR) on Chinese distant-water ﬁsheries in the
Southern Ocean. Marine Fisheries 2006;28(1):79–82.
 Han L, Liu D. Research on administration penalties on Chinese distant-water
ﬁshing boats. Annual of China Maritime Law 2007;17:59–70.
 Li B. Preliminary assessment of African cooperation over ﬁshing areas. East
Asia West Africa 2008;3:64–67.
 Gao Q, Wang B, Yang T. Impacts of International Marine Laws on Distant
Water Fisheries in China. Chin Fish Econ 2008;6(26):80–84.
 Qi Z, Zhao Z, Yu Z. Exploring Policies on the Current Challenges Faced by
Sustainable Development of China’s Fishing Industry. Shandong Fish
 Lu Y. Research on management models for chinese ﬁshing companies in West
Africa. New West China 2007;16:36.
 FAO. The Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF), adopted by the
FAO on 31 October 1995. /http://www.fao.org/docrep/005/v9878e/
 Pitcher T. et al. Safe conduct? Twelve years ﬁshing under the UN Code;
 Cheng J. et al. An estimation of compliance of the ﬁsheries of China with
article 7 (ﬁsheries management) of the UN Code of Conduct for Responsible
Fishing. University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre; 2006.
 Xue G. China’s distant water ﬁsheries and its response to ﬂag state
responsibilities. Mar Policy 2006;30:651–658.
 United Nations. The Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions on
UNCLOS Relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Stocks
and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks (UNFSA); signed 1995, entered into force
on 11 December 2001. /http://www.un.org/depts/los/convention_agree
 Declaration of China upon signature of the Fish Stocks Agreement. /http://
clarations.htm#CHINAS; 6 November 1996.
 FAO. The Agreement to Promote Compliance with International Conserva-
tions and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Seas; signed
1995, entered into force on 24 April 2003. /http://www.fao.org/docrep/
 FAO. The International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal,
Unreported and Unregulated Fishing; adopted on 23 June 2001. /http://
 FAO. Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate
Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing. /http://www.fao.org/Legal/
treaties/037t-e.pdfS; 22 November 2009.
 Ministry of Agriculture. Ministry of Agriculture notiﬁcation concerning
strengthening distant water ﬁsheries state-observer work. /http://skmic.
sh.cn/NewsDetail.aspx?cid=261S; 22 December 2010.
 Clarke S. Understanding China’s ﬁsh trade and traceability. TRAFFIC East Asia;
 Barrett S. Why cooperate? The incentive to supply global public goods Oxford
University Press; 2007.
T.G. Mallory / Marine Policy 38 (2013) 99–108108