China not following domestic law, harming US fishermen, representative says

China’s cheap labor practices and illegal fishing methods hurt American fishing companies, says Belfort Seafood Co-op president:

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MIDDLETOWN, NJ – On Monday morning, Capt. Richard Isaksen, president of the Belfort Seafood Cooperative, met with North Middletown’s congressman to call for stricter inspections of seafood imports from China.

did you know? The U.S. imports $2 billion in seafood from China each year. But China’s cheap labor practices and illegal fishing methods hurt American fishing companies, Isaacsen said.


Congressman Frank Ballon (D-NJ6) agrees:

„The People’s Republic of China’s blatant disregard for international and domestic laws allows China to export seafood at lower prices to maintain a market advantage — and drive out U.S. seafood producers,” he said.

According to Reps. Ballon and Isaksen:

A significant portion of the seafood Americans eat is caught by Chinese vessels or processed in Chinese-owned facilities.

Imported Chinese fish and shellfish are not held to the same strict environmental and labor standards as U.S. seafood, which hurts U.S. fishing industries that must comply with those standards.

Not only that, but Chinese fishing boats illegally poaching in Indian and Pacific Ocean waters reserved for other countries: Over the past decade, the People’s Republic of China has taken deceptive measures to hide its illegal fishing activities, including poaching from other countries’ exclusive economic zones. fishing zones, Pallone said.

Pallone says the lives of Chinese fishermen are modern-day „slavery”: tens of thousands of workers are trapped on Chinese fishing vessels, where they are forced to work and endure unsafe conditions. Many of these workers have been stranded at sea for years, working under debt bondage and forced to endure abusive and negligent working conditions. Many of those forced fishermen and fish processors are Uighurs, an oppressed ethnic minority in China.

About 25 percent of the world’s fishing boats accused of labor abuse are flagged in China, and the worst labor offenders are Chinese companies, he said.

Pallone is now calling on the US to improve screening of all seafood imported from China. Read this letter he sent to US Customs and Border Protection on December 4:…

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