Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide levels are rising – that is a fact. Before the industrial revolution, atmospheric CO2 levels steadily remained at around 280ppm (parts per million). This number had remained constant for thousands of years, with very minor increases over the years due to natural processes. In March this year, CO2 concentrations were sitting at 418.81ppm. This huge increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations has already created and will continue to create unprecedented effects on the environment globally. This daunting fact has prompted leaders across the globe to act.
Last November in Glasgow, the COP26 summit was held which was widely regarded as an instance of the UK taking global leadership in the fight against climate change. The UK has worked hard to bring all participants of COP26 to a consensus about the actions needed to mitigate against the harmful effects of climate change and reduce global CO2 emissions as a means of lessening the damage caused by global warming in the future. In doing so, the UK government has sought to fulfil their end of the bargain and beyond, making bold promises in the hopes of accelerating the UK’s charge to becoming net carbon neutral by the year 2050.
Energy production is one of the biggest issues regarding our drive to net zero, producing 21% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions. As such, the government has placed a levy on domestic energy bills, costing the average UK household an extra £159 per year on energy bills as a means of financing subsidies for renewable energy products. In addition to this, the government has recently raised the household electricity price cap from £693 to £1,971. This will put immense strain on the budgets of many households, not even mentioning the skyrocketing inflation recorded at 7% in March 2022. This financial squeeze is not showing any signs of relenting, with disposable incomes predicted to fall by 1.9% this year – an even bigger decline in living standards than the one seen in the year prior to the Winter of Discontent.
With all the economic doom and gloom spreading about, a question must be asked – is net zero by 2050 worth it? The UK sits on top of huge shale gas deposits which could easily be exploited by the government issuing licences for companies to begin fracking on these lands, solving the gas supply issues which drives lots of the inflation currently seen. This gas could also be used to generate electricity domestically, reducing the UK’s reliance on French electricity whilst increasing supply to the point where households’ electricity bills could be drastically reduced. The UK currently contributes to 1% of global emissions, meaning that despite being virtuous, the drive to net zero will have relatively little effect globally when countries like China and India make relatively little efforts to reduce their own carbon footprints. Moreover, exploiting domestic energy supplies will likely result in lower overall carbon emissions than the alternative of importing, as huge amounts of carbon dioxide is emitted when transporting these resources to the UK.
As such, it is little surprise that Reform UK – the largest right-wing opposition party to the Conservative party has begun to campaign against the government’s current plans to achieve net carbon neutrality. Whilst it is a noble cause to reduce carbon emissions, the current economic reality shows that the plans currently in place will massively reduce the quality of life for millions in this country instead of being the ‘Green Revolution’ that was promised by this government. We need pragmatic, not dogmatic solutions to current issues and reviving domestic energy production is the first step to solving the cost-of-living crisis and reducing our dependence on energy imports. We still have twenty-eight years to reach our target. Making sure that people are financially safe should be the government’s priority, only then can we focus on the environment. There is no doubt that this method of mitigating the cost-of-living crisis will encounter large resistance from pressure groups such as the Extinction Rebellion, but a far larger resistance will be seen in the polls if the government does not get a handle on the situation soon.
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So What?By Samuel Martin — 5 months ago
At the end of last month, the first results of the 2021 UK Census were published. As many will recall, the results were simultaneously, although not quite paradoxically, shocking and expected. The information published showed that 1 in 6 UK citizens are born in another country – ten million of the UK’s 69 million; a 33% increase from the 7.5 million a mere decade ago.
The details were shocking insofar that few expected a demographic shift of such extreme proportions, even when compared to the last census in 2011. Nevertheless, they were expected. As anyone with an elementary understanding of British politics knows, the political system has pursued, less-so out of empirical consideration and moreso out of humanitarian (“it’s our moral obligation!”), diveristiarian (“diversity is our strength!”), and utilitarian (“immigration grows the economy!”) dogma(s), a policy of mass immigration since the late 1990s.
Just last week, data from the ONS showed that migration into Britain had reached a new record of 504,000 – a net increase of over 331,000 from the year prior. Keep in mind, all of this has happened despite the public’s clear and consistent opposition to immigration, nevermind the magnitudinous demographic change it has caused.
As soon as the data went public, one could piece together the overarching division of attitudes. Some welcomed the rapid erosion of Britain’s native-born citizenry. By contrast, the murmurs of the moderate-minded indicated a sense of foreboding. If the data on citizenship is this demographically untenable, what on Earth is the data regarding national identity going to look like?
Well, now we know. Reported by the ONS, the UK 2021 Census showed:
“81.7% of residents in England and Wales identified their ethnic group as within the high-level “White” category in 2021. A decrease from 86.0% in 2011.
As part of the “White” ethnic group, 74.4% of the population in England and Wales identified their ethnic group as “English, Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish or British. This is a continued decrease from: 80.5% in 2011 and 87.5% in 2001.”
As with the initial citizenship data, many celebrated this seismic change, suggesting that fewer white British Christians in Britain amounted to a moral improvement.
On the other hand, some deemed the largest demographic shift since late antiquity to be completely ineffectual. Directed at Nigel Farage’s reaction to the census, which underscored the shrinking ethnic British population in London, Conservative MP Sajid Javid tweeted a forthright and mask-off response: “So what?”.
“It’s not happening and that’s why it’s a good thing” as the saying goes.
Nevertheless… So what? Well, for a start, it shows that the 2011 Census wasn’t a one off, but signified the start of an unprecedented trajectory: the continuous decline of the ethnically British population. On its own, this should be alarming, but the fact this demographic shift has occurred within a single generation makes it even moreso. Needless to say, but worth saying nonetheless, to do so without consultation from or consideration of those implicated is, to put it moderately, extremely irresponsible.
Moreover, what good is talk of “integration”, the oft-proposed silver-bullet to the consequences of immigration, if the historical ethnocultural in-group, the one which immigrants are supposed to integrate, cannot sustain its hegemony? At most, they’ll “integrate into” (perpetuate) a godless ratrace; a demoralising sluggish existence against the world’s richest on the housing market and the world’s poorest on the labour market. As Morrissey says: shelve your Western plans… Life is hard enough when you belong here.
As it stands, numerous communities across England and Wales are majority-minority – where the national majority group constitutes a local minority – a fact which makes panicked rhetoric about rhetorical divisiveness all the more out-of-touch. Mutually-segregating, and often mutually-loathing, communities have been around for decades, the census just reaffirms this reality.
More to the point, who could expect integration? Flimsy abstractions of Britishness aren’t holding British society together. Having a cuppa, forming an orderly queue, and appealing to vague, arbitrary, and contradictory notions of “tolerance” and “inclusion” and so on just doesn’t cut it. What is a nation, especially a democratic one, if it cannot inspire loyalty?
The rate of immigration and concentration of immigrant and immigrant-descended populations diminishes any incentive or expectation of integration, no matter how willing the native population is to water down the criteria of national belonging. If people can choose to associate and live amongst their kind, they shall do so – as has been the case since the dawn of time. Blood is thicker than water, even if the water is boiled, milked, and caffeinated.
But beyond a debate of causation, whether it’s a case of “can’t integrate” or “won’t integrate”, both instances point to the same overarching problem: Britain is fragmenting.
In order to accommodate the contradictory complexities of the world, primarily a consequence of the similarly unwanted reimagination of Britain as a “global” entity, “Britishness” has been reconfigured from a distinct identity – something that people indivisibly are, that their parents are, that their parents’ parents are – into a bureaucratic technicality – something that people can have, should and whenever they be so inclined; from a complex and unique ethnocultural particularity to a two-dimensional universality.
This fact, combined with evidently unmanageable and unpopular immigration numbers, is not a good omen. Rather, it risks gradually wiping Britain from the face of the Earth; from its unique and beautiful place in relation to a global diversity of similarly unique and beautiful ethnocultural organisms to a crude amalgamation of all-else, pathetically bound though an appeal to inoffensive all-inclusive emptiness.
All the more fitting then that the census should also reveal a collapse in religiosity. In a nation where church and state are bound, less than 50% (46.2%) of the population identifies as Christian – down from 59.3% in 2011. Simultaneously, those self-identifying as having “no religion” surged from 25.2% to 37.2%. This is the first time in 1000 years that Christainity is not the majority faith.
Of all the census details, this is perhaps the least surprising. For decades, we’ve barely considered ourselves “Cultural Christians” – those that tick the box, but don’t attend the service. In this regard, the 2021 Census is merely a formal confirmation of long-waning Christainity.
Who could have seen any of this coming? Actually, quite a few people. Back in 2011, then-UKIP leader Nigel Farage, citing statistics published by Migration Watch, said that the UK could expect 50,000 Romanians every year over the course of ten years.
At the time, these numbers – as well as millions of ordinary people – were lampooned and ridiculed by the media, politicians, comedians, and (most damning of all) the Experts (the Serious People that Know Things), as delusional racists, fruitcakes, loonies, and so on.
Nevertheless, a decade later, that is exactly what has transpired. The census revealed that the number of Romania-born people living in the UK amounted to 539,000 – a 576% increase from 2011.
It’s no secret that Farage’s acknowledgement of immigration-led displacement of white Britons was one of his early selling points. Indeed, it was arguably as important (if not more important) than his euroscepticism. As has been established time and again, the latter is very much a product of the former. As such, it’s rather uncharitable to interpret his aforementioned comments with regard to London as anything but a reiteration.
Additionally, there’s David Coleman, former Professor of Demography at Oxford University, who predicted back in 2013 that, if demographic trends continued, “white Britons could be a minority by 2066” – a prediction which not only remains valid after the 2021 census but, evidently, did not assist him in retaining his then-already under-pressure position.
Granted, these are only notable examples. I cannot begin to imagine the number of normal people that have lost their livelihoods for concurring with such predictions, nevermind articulating the sentiment that they spelt trouble. Not even then does this account for those who have been scared into silence by active legislation and the fear of a vitriolic social death. You can be targeted for far less.
The inability to talk about matters in a frank, open, and civilised manner compounds problems which arise from matters which provoke the desire to discuss them in the first place.
On the religious front, Peter Hitchens has written and spoken about Britain’s post-Christainity on multiple occasions. Ever since WW1, Britain’s religiosity ceased to be sincere, instead being a series of motions undertaken without spiritual, theological, or moral investment. Now that there’s no room for doubt, one can expect the iconoclasts of Diversity and Inclusion to erase whatever hollow secularised traces of Britain’s Christian identity still exist in public life.
Put diplomatically, none of this is sensible. Quite the contrary, all these convergences spell catastrophe. Over the past few years alone, we’ve seen the fledglings of a nihilistic balkanised Britain.
Back in September, the now white British minority city of Leicester – a so-called “model” for a ‘diverse but cohesive’ Britain – fell victim to ethnoreligious rioting between Indian-descent Hindus and Pakistani-descent Muslims. Far from ‘diverse’, the riots were a replication of pre-existing global troubles.
To bare witness to the impotent, ahistorical, buzzword-laden gush of no-name ‘community leaders’, drowned out by an eruption of third-world carnage in Britain’s oldest settlements, as the mainstream press obfuscate the essence of the problem, is to bare witness to the self-deluding and short-sighted nature of Britain’s post-war political establishment.
Throughout various towns and cities across England, South-Asian grooming gangs have targeted white children since the 1980s. The police, more concerned about causing offence than networks of child prostitution, ignored the plight of the victims for several decades. Not even MPs could discuss the matter without facing repercussions.
Along the south-east, the perpetual tide of migrants (legal and illegal) has caused social unrest, so much so that coastal residents have taken to barricading their homes. The rate of immigration has skyrocketed housing costs, led to panicked hotel cramming by the Home Office, as well as an explosion of council-sanctioned homelessness.
Immediately following the release of the ethnicity data, tweets taunting white Britons to “come get your capital back” go viral, along with recorded procolations that Britain “is our country now”. Erstwhile, those of immigrant backgrounds descend on the capital, declaring their undying allegiance to a country that isn’t the one that houses them.
As for the sainted discourse, the goalposts of debate are shifted from “relax, you’re a local majority” to “relax, you’re the largest minority group” and pieces bemoaning “gentrification” are replaced by pieces celebrating “diversification”.
In the case of London, now 36.8% (down from 42.7% in 2011), some have tried to deflect any and all discussion of this matter by appealing to insinuations of white nationalism, forgetting that this entire question is, in essence, an ethnocultural one.
The idea that an unprecedented, unasked for, and potentially irreversible shift in the composition of a major city, nevermind an entire country, would not matter to the people insofar the shift was driven by those identifying “White Other” is obtuse and arrogant. Indeed, even when such a racial commonality exists between ethnically native and foreign-descended populace, there are still longstanding consequences.
As mentioned at the start, all of this boils down to mass immigration. The old and moneyed, addicted like junkies to the coursing streams of cheap foreign labour, are prepared to carve Britain’s youth out of the social contract in order to get their fill. Big business, professional activists, bureaucratic functionaries, and main-party politicians have locked arms and tirelessly marched in lock-step against my generation, their national belonging, and their prospect of a better future.
Both Labour and the Conservatives have demonstrated their indifference towards the problem of large-scale immigration-led demographic change. If anything, they have encouraged it, despite the pleas of their core voters.
Under Blair, Labour pursued a policy of mass-immigration to “rub the right’s nose in diversity”, simultaneously creating a pool of votes on which the party could rely in future elections, and accelerated Britain’s descent into ‘humanitarian’ quangocracy.
By not-so-much contrast, the Conservatives, having promised for decades to reduce immigration, won a landslide majority with the aid of traditional Labour voters (distinctly opposed to immigration) with a pledge to fulfil the spirit of Brexit – retainment of the sovereign control of borders to reduce the mass influx of people – only to do the exact opposite once in power. Don’t attribute to “failure” what is, in every respect, a design choice.
In the media, the Sensible umpires of political discourse, with clear-minded sobriety and transparent neutrality, insist that mass immigration is completely unstoppable and that we should shut up and make-do.
Likewise, in the equally Sensible world of think-tanks, mass immigration is supposedly the magical solution to all of Britain’s economic woes; everything from unprecedented high-tax levels to Britain’s economic stagnation. Even a general overview of Britain’s economic performance these past few decades is enough to clock that such “expertise” is merely an officialised delusion.
More than mere snark, “So What?” perfectly encapsulates the underlying problem of our entire political system. Everything, from the political media to think-tanks to sitting MPs, pushes depoliticisation. The art of the possible is replaced with the art of the impossible. A decision of indecision, democratic deliberation, and the alternatives it affords, is supplanted by the arbitrary apolitical confines of authoritarian managerialism.
By opening up a multitude of historically unprecedented political fronts (tension between ethnocultural groups) whilst depoliticising the policy areas pertaining to their creation (post-war immigration policy) the British political system has manufactured an increasingly unsustainable ethnocultural divide.
In a scrambled effort to feign unity, schools across the country are mandated to teach the British state’s reinvention of its foundational identity, utilising empty appeals, laden with contradiction and irony, to “democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs“.
It does not occur to our leaders that democracy is the conduit by which identity groups will compete against others, that high social trust is prerequisite to liberty, or that mutual respect and tolerance can be hard enough within predominantly monoethnic/monocultural societies, nevermind increasingly multiethnic/cultural ones. In the end, all that is left is the brute force of authority.
Being the only politician with sizable political support that is prepared to deliberate this fundamental matter, Farage’s hour of decision is upon us. If he does re-enter politics, he must do so on the back of these census results. The stalwart indifference of the political class, and all that has transpired as a consequence of their dogmatic recklessness, must not be allowed to continue.
If he does create a new party, there’s every reason to believe he’ll be rewarded handsomely at the ballot box. The Conservatives face electoral annihilation. Javid, fully aware of this fact, is not standing at the next election; presumably why he felt comfortable telling his constituents (96% white British) that their survival, in their own native land, never meant anything to him.
That said, few expect things to improve under a Labour government. Having never promised a precise number on immigration, one could safely bet, if they ever did, that a) it wouldn’t be sufficient or, if it was, b) they’d u-turn on their promise once in power – just like the Tories.
However, should Farage decide against a new party (or leadership of an already existing party), he must stand aside for an alternative to manifest. Whether we like it or not, as Britain’s demographics continue to change, especially at the current rate, ethnicity, identity, and all things in-between will become a far more prevalent part of our politics. We must be prepared to address these matters – for our own good and for the good of others. The only thing worse than an insufficient answer to the demographic question is to never answer it at all.
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Manufactured Consent: The Growth of the Republican Movement in AustraliaBy Ilija Dokmanovic — 4 months ago
At the start of June we at The Mallard along with millions of others across the globe celebrated the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. In the UK especially there was a great show of affection from the people to the Queen, with tens of thousands flocking to The Mall to witness the various parades of the guard, the cavalry, and communities from Britain and the commonwealth celebrating 70 years of Elizabeth II’s reign. For many within conservative circles, the amount of people who showed up seemed to be a clear indicator that the Republican movement in Britain is dead in the water, and far less influential than many smug liberals like to think it is.
Despite a tough couple of years for the Royal Family between the media crucifixion from the Megan Markle debacle and the loss of Prince Philip last year, not to mention the decades of having to adapt to a rapidly changing world, it is clear from the Platinum Jubilee celebration that the monarchy is here to stay, and I for one am happy to see that is the case.
However, the monarchy doesn’t just represent the people of Britain – it is an institution that is supposed to represent the larger commonwealth.
For Australia, in the aftermath of the recent Federal election and the victory of Anthony Albanese and the Labor government, new questions have arisen about the future of the monarchy in Australia.
Albanese’s appointment of Matt Thistlethwaite as the assistant minister for the republic has raised the issue of Australia’s position in becoming a fully independent republic, removing a British monarch as the head of state for a President-type figurehead for the Australian nation.
Of course, this role of “Assistant Minister for the Republic” is an indicator that the current government wants to transition into the “progressive” future of denying Australia’s cultural and historical ties with its mother nation in Europe, and embracing the Asia and America-centric world. Stripping the old oak timber foundations for the steel-beams and glass-panels of the New World Order.
Unfortunately this is nothing new. For decades the Australian government and politicians, both Labor and troublingly Liberal, have exercised their power in order to do away with any formal legal ties to Britain, from the Australia Act 1986, to the Referendum in 1999.
In the case of the 1986 Australia Act, while it may have been seen as a new chapter for Australian sovereignty and control over its own laws instead of being subjected to the whims of a British parliament – it was largely symbolic as Australia had been exercising sovereignty over its own country since its federation in 1901.
As for the 1999 Referendum, while the media and political class, as well as the metropolitan urbanites in Australian cities overwhelmingly backed the transition towards an Australian Republic, the “Yes” vote failed due to the overwhelmingly popular support that the monarchy had in rural and semi-rural areas.
Looking at the map of the vote, it’s clear to see that it would have been a disastrous imbalance for urban hubs to decide the entire fate of the country in relation to the monarchy and having the Queen as head of state.
While past attempts to make Australia a republic failed, that was a vastly different Australia, almost foreign to the one that exists today.
With the massive demographic shifts that have occured in Australian population hubs, both in terms of the sheer scale of the population and the ethnic make-up of these urban areas, the cultural ties that once existed with Britain and the monarchy are growing weaker. This hasn’t been by choice, but rather by effective action by both the government, education, and media to out-populate loyalists of tradition and those with ties to Britain, and guilt-trip any association with the colonial past and the great achievements of Britons in Australia.
In the last 20 years, Australia’s urban demographic has shifted considerably. Particularly due to the influx of immigrants from China and India, and Asia in general. While the majority of the population are still descendants of European immigrants, in urban constituencies the large swathes of non-European immigration have become a point of contention for many issues – most importantly integration into Australian culture. Anyone who has been to Box Hill in Melbourne can attest to the fact that this once very Australian suburb is now just a mini-Beijing.
These sub-communities exist across Australia, focused in the cities, where the votes count most crucially come election time. While some may discount this statement as blatant bigotry or intolerance, it is interesting to note that in the most recent federal election, the traditionally Labor seat of Fowler was won by the independent incumbent, Dai Le, with the constituencies large Asian population playing a huge role in her success.
Trends exist for a reason, and if immigrants or second/third-generation Australians are more likely to vote for candidates that look like them rather than one of the traditional parties, as horrible as they are, what is to say that these same demographics of people feel absolutely no cultural or historical ties with the monarchy and what it represents?
With more and more “New Australians”, what protects the wills and the interests of those who have had family here going back to the First Fleet?
The demographic change is just one issue – the other issue is the shaming of British achievements in Australia, and the constant bleeding-heart antics of politicians and the media to try and make a show of how “sorry” they are because of their ancestors success in building one of the modern world’s most impressive nations.
From Kevin Rudd’s national apology to the Aborigines (aka traditional land-owners) to the consistent vandalization of anything commemorating Captain Cook, and the cringe-inducing rants of “Abolish Australia Day” that is heard around campuses and TV panelists every year in January, the latest generations of Australians, “new” or old, have been taught to hate themselves, hate those who came before them, not see their country as their own but rather that they are trespassers, and that they should do everything in their power to disassemble the “racist past” and “build the Australia for all!”.
It’s become so ridiculous that you have every other person claiming Aboriginal ancestry in the style of Elizabeth Warren, in order to distance themselves from the “evil British settlers” – insufferably referring to Melbourne as “Naarm” or Sydney as “Ku-Ring-Gai” showing the rest of us how “in touch” they are with the land.
While these sentiments may come from a good place, the truth or the matter is that if “Australia is for all” it is really for no one. It is simply just another landmass with a smorgasbord population of random groups who have no ties to each other, no ties to a greater ideal or tradition, and no real unique identity.
Just another “progressive” nation, that progresses nothing other than endless consumption and existence for existence’s sake.
Frankly, if Australia was to have another referendum on the monarchy question I’m not confident that we’d get the same result as we did in 1999 with a rejection of such a blatantly anti-traditional notion. The country has changed too much, too fast, and too little has been done to oppose this in government or on the streets.
I don’t trust the same Australian politicians who overwhelmingly supported lockdowns and imprisonments for dissenters as people capable enough, or morally sound enough to be given the reins of full independence. But, if things continue the way they do, and if Albanese moves in the direction he’s indicated – there will be no stopping these sycophants from cutting the final ties of Australia to its kin on the other side of the globe, and enter the brave new world of Asia-Pacific “progressivism”.
The truth is simple; the Republican movement in Australia isn’t just anti-monarchy or anti-British – it’s anti-Australian.
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China is Emptying Our OceansBy Joseph Hammond — 4 months ago
The Coronavirus disrupted global food distribution networks and in the aftermath of ‘World War Virus,’ it will be more important than ever to address the issue of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Globally, seafood consumption has continued to climb in recent years as the unprecedented growth of a middle class around the globe has resulted in an increased demand for seafood. At least 3 billion people rely on farmed or wild-caught seafood as their primary source of protein, while over 4.3 billion people get at least 15% of their animal protein intake from fish and other seafood.
IUU fishing also contributes to other problems such as terrorism in both East and West Africa. In Asia they contribute to a growing number of maritime border disputes that are often rarely discussed.
Former U.S. Navy Admiral and NATO commander James Stavridis warned in a 2017 article that China was spending hundreds of millions of dollars to subsidize vessels involved in IUU fishing. Late last year the United States government has warned that China’s illegal fishing practices could start a conflict in the region.
In 2020, a Japanese destroyer Shimakaze recieved a one-metre hole in its hull after colliding with a Chinese fishing vessel 650km west of the Japanese island of Yakushima. Two fishermen aboard the Chinese vessel were reportedly injured. That violent confrontation came weeks after a similar alarming incident involving the Taiwanese Coast Guard and Chinese speed boats last month. Farther afield the Argentine coastguard fired upon and sunk Chinese vessels illegally fishing in Argentina’s exclusive economic zone.
Of course, China isn’t the only country using its fishermen in this way. Vietnam and the fishing fleets of other countries have been accused of using their fishing fleets as “militia“. When Indonesia last year launched a major operation to crack down on IUU fishing it its territorial waters, it destroyed 51 foreign vessels but only two of which were Chinese flagged.
Yet, there is no denying the large number of vessels involved in IUU fishing hail from China a country which since 2002, has also been the world’s largest exporter of sea food. China’s rise to dominance in the sea food industry was rapid. In less than two decades the Communist country built the largest deep-water fishing fleet in the world with some 3,000 vessels. Yet, that number fails to show Chinese influence on the global fishing industry. Indeed the EJF report revealed that 90% of Ghana’s industrial trawl fleet is linked to Chinese owners though often locally registered under Ghanaian companies.
Chinese authorities have reluctantly admitted to having a problem. Several new regulations have been announced including a blacklist for Chinese company executives and boat captains who engage in IUU fishing. Furthermore, under the current Chinese policy, no vessel is supposed to fish within three miles of the exclusive economic zone of any country (EEZ). Yet, its enforcement of these measures can often vary on the jurisdiction.
“In the Bohai Sea, the Yellow Sea and most of the East China Sea (in waters they have clear jurisdiction over), they are taking IUU fishing very seriously because IUU fishing has a directly felt impact on domestic sustainability and food security…,” says Tabitha Grace Mallory, a leading expert on Chinese fishing practice, “China’s annual fishing moratorium only extends to 12*N latitude, so any fishing below that (which is where the Spratlys are) is pretty much a free-for-all.” China provides large subsidies to fishing fleets that operate in that area.”
Of course the problem of subsidies in particular is peculiar to more than just China. The European Union has quietly reintroduced subsidies to help overgrow its fishing fleet. Unless measures are taken to end such harmful subsidies, the stomachs of those who live above the water will soon feel the impact as well.
“The long-distance water fishing fleet is responsible for the majority of IUU fishing incidents linked to Chinese-flagged dishing vessel – and considering that the operation of the foreign fishing fleet is only possible due to state subsidies – China needs to cut all of its fishing subsidies. For that matter, the European Union needs to do the same with its long-distance fleet,” says Peter Hammarstedt of Sea Shephard.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call for countries to abandon fishing subsidies in the interest of food security. The goals were approved by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 and are meant to be achieved by 2030. The fourteenth SDG goal “Life Below Water” calls on all nations to: “prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing; eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing; and refrain from introducing new such subsidies.”
China is a signatory to these goals. As are the European Union and a number of OECD countries who contribute to the problem of IUU fishing. If more isn’t done soon to address this problem both in Asia and around the world there will be a lot more empty grocery store shelves and a lot more empty stomachs.
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