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Study: China’s squid fleet avoids Peru to dodge new port law

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By JOSHUA GOODMAN
Associated Press

A port regulation adopted by Peru to combat illegal fishing by Chinese squid vessels appears to have driven the world’s largest overseas fishing fleet deeper into the shadows and raised the risk of forced labor. Peru in 2020 began requiring foreign fishing boats entering its ports to be tracked with a vessel monitoring system. The mandate seeks to provide authorities with visibility into hundreds of Chinese squid vessels that every year amass off the west coast of South America. But research by Peruvian fishing consultancy Artisonal found that the new regulations have driven Chinese ships away from the country’s ports. The expansion of China’s fishing fleet to far-flung locations in recent years has been dogged by accusations of illegal fishing as well as instances of forced labor.

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