Pompeo: Reports China Fishing Near Galapagos ‘Deeply Troubling’

Flotilla reportedly in international waters just outside of Galapagos territory

US officials are looking for every opportunity to find fault with Chinese behavior, and today that is taking the form of international fishing. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called it “deeply troubling” that about 300 Chinese fishing ships are near the Galapagos islands.

The implications of US comments are that the Chinese are engaged in illegal fishing, with Pompeo citing recent Chinese promises to crack down on that sort of fishing and demanding more transparency.

That all fits in the State Department’s narrative criticizing them, but China’s Ambassador Chen Guoyou says that the ships in question are meeting international law, and none are being accused of illegal activities.

Indeed, the ships aren’t really within the Galapagos’ waters either, but just outside of it in international waters. The ships are fishing for squid, and there haven’t been any reports of violations, beyond some ships temporarily losing satellite signals for tracking.

Complaints about Chinese fishing mostly center on the sheer size and efficiency of their fleets, as they’ve got many thousands of available ships and catch vast amounts of fish. China has promised to strictly ensure that the ships are complying with international law, however.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.