A global fish war might be coming.
No, that doesn’t mean fishing tournaments taking place between nations. That means armed conflicts over illegal fishing.
It’s happening because fish are a natural resource that authorities say have declined in the oceans by half in recent decades.
Around 1 billion people rely on fish for protein, and dwindling resources means nations going after fish around the globe.
And not in a diplomatic manner.
China has the most people relying on fish. The country also is the largest exporter of fish in the world.
So, the government is going what it has to in order to catch the fish it needs. That includes militarization.
For example, officials say vessels entering the South China Sea illegally are being escorted by the China Coast Guard.
And it seems some countries whose waters are being entered illegally are fighting back. Indonesia and Argentina have sunk illegal fishing vessels from China and other nations. Ambassadors and other government officials are clashing with Beijing.
The United States could be next to enter the growing global fish war. Chinese fishing vessels are getting closer to U.S. waters, officials say.
The U.S. Navy and Coast Guard have known about the conflict for some time. And it seems the legislature is realizing it, too.
The week of Sept. 11, Congress asked the Navy to help combat illegal fishing as part of the National Defense Authorization Act.
The Navy, experts say, can help enforce international treaties meant to conserve the ocean’s resources.
There is also a call to increase diplomatic efforts to combat illegal fishing.
Before the global fish war truly becomes a global war.