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U.S., Japan, Australia, and India to launch tracking system to monitor illegal fishing by China


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Fishing boats with Chinese national flags are seen at a harbour in Tanmen, Hainan province, April 5, 2016. REUTERS/Megha Rajagopalan

(Reuters) – U.S., Japan, Australia, and India will unveil a maritime initiative at the Quad summit in Tokyo to curb illegal fishing in the Indo-Pacific, the Financial Times reported on Saturday, citing a U.S. official.

The said that the maritime initiative will use satellite technology to create a tracking system for illegal fishing from the Indian Ocean to the South Pacific by connecting surveillance centers in Singapore and India.

U.S. President Joe Biden is visiting Japan to attend the meeting of the Quad group of countries – Australia, India, Japan and the United States in Tokyo- which have increased cooperation in the face of China’s growing assertiveness.

According to the Financial Times report, the maritive initiative will enable these countries to monitor illegal fishing even when the boats have turned off the transponders which are typically used to track vessels.

The U.S.-Indo Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell had said earlier this month that United States will soon announce plans to battle illegal fishing in the U.S.

Several countries in the Indo-Pacific region chafe at China’s vast fishing fleet. They say its vessels often violate their exclusive economic zones and cause environmental damage and economic losses.

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