Fishing in the South China Sea / by Francisco Blaha

Competition over resources is one of the primary drivers of tension between China and its neighbors in the South China Sea. This infographic, prepared by the Sumitro Chair at CSIS, provides data on one key flashpoint between China and Vietnam: fishing.

And highlights the obsene ammount of subsidies provided as well...


The potential for conflict among these two cannot be underestimated. Aggressive law enforcement actions, even military action, are not unheard of in the history of fisheries. The Atlantic Ocean offers some examples. While most would say the Atlantic today is a source of fewer security threats than the Pacific, between the 1950s and 1970s the United Kingdom and Iceland had a series of confrontations in the North Atlantic in the so-called “Cod Wars.” In 1995, Canada arrested the Spanish fishing vessel Estai on the High Seas in the North Atlantic when it was fishing for Greenland Halibut stocks claimed and protected by Canada. This “Turbot War” led to a highly contentious dispute in international law. Furthermore, France has arrested vessels on several occasions that it accused of illegal fishing for Patagonia Toothfish in the South Atlantic.