Beijing: Over-exploitation and illegal fishing by China is hurting the world's marine resources and livelihoods.

A new report titled "Sink or Swim: The Future of Fisheries in the East and the South China Sea", the overexploitation of marine resources would lead to irreparable economic and biological losses, reported International Forum For Right And Security (IFFRAS).

China has been the worst offender in the 2021 IUU Fishing index, which maps illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing in 152 coastal countries. Chinese ships can be found everywhere in the world.

The big vessels not only catch illegally, overexploit the marine resources but also leave a little for local boats by scooping up a major haul of fish. The problem of Chinese distant water overfishing has spread to the Pacific, South America, and Western Africa, reported IFFRAS.

An armada of Chinese fishing vessels is encroaching territorial waters far away from China to find seafood, which has raised alarm even in friendly countries like Argentina and Mexico.

The conflict is major in China's backyard, South China Sea (SCS) and East China Sea (ECS), where small nations like the Philippines and Indonesia regularly blame China for violations, reported IFFRAS.

Fishermen in the western African Nation Sierra Leone have blamed China for overfishing, which they claimed affected their livelihood.

Stephen Akester, an adviser to Sierra Leone's Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, said "The Chinese fleet has been taking the profits of the fisheries for 30 years and the impact on fish stocks has been terrible. The resources are disappearing, fishermen are suffering, and families are starving. Many have just one meal a day."

Palau, a small Pacific island nation, is facing overfishing by Chinese vessels in the protected water that is a sanctuary for sharks.

Victor Remengesau, Director of Palau's division of marine law and enforcement, has expressed concerns over illegal fishing and the possibility of coronavirus infection from the Chinese crew, reported IFFRAS.

"It's an unlawful entry. We may care about Covid and the spread of COVID, but we can't just let people do whatever they want, and disguise illegal activity," he said.

Ray Mabus, former US Secretary of the Navy, said Chinese activities were exacerbating the problem of illegal and unregulated fishing, which was posing threats to maritime boundaries, national waters, and global marine resources.

"China's distant-water fishing fleets are of particular concern because their predatory fishing activities are unmatched in their sophistication, scale, and harm," he said.

According to NGO Global Fishing Watch, researchers used an unprecedented synthesis of satellite imagery and machine learning to find the dark fleets, which do not share information about their locations and carry out fishing illegally, reported IFFRAS.

Now climate change is going to cause depletion of fish and other marine resources from SCS and ECS, China will be aggressively fishing in other parts of the world to meet rising domestic demand. It may become a major source of global friction in near future.