In October, a total of 6,142 Vietnamese fishing vessels with 70,587 tracking points were recorded by the AIS in the whole South China Sea, down by more than a third compared with the peak in July.
Rarely seen were those operated in the waters of Malaysia, Indonesia and Cambodia. However, there were quite some intruding into the coastal waters of Chinese mainland and Hainan Island.
According to the AIS statistics, in October, at least 91 Vietnamese fishing vessels intruded into the coastal waters of Chinese mainland and Hainan Island (As illustrated in the figure below, the scope covers the waters of the Beibu Gulf, excluding China’s maritime domain within the common fishery zones; the territorial seas and internal waters of Guangdong Province and the Hainan Island; the southeastern waters of the Hainan Island, as well as the area within around 30 NM beyond the Guangdong Province’s territorial seas), which dropped for the third month in succession. Most of the intruding Vietnamese fishing vessels were spotted in the waters of the Beibu Gulf on the Chinese side, among which 56 intruded into China’s territorial seas and internal waters, demonstrating a slight decrease compared to 72 in September.
Since this July, Vietnamese IUU fishing vessels in China’s waters have dropped for three successive months, owing to built-up law enforcement efforts from Chinese fishery authorities and frequent typhoons. In October, the South China Sea was being pummeled by up to 4 typhoons (2015 “Linfa”, 2016 “Nangka”, 2017 “Saudel” and 2018 “Mojave”), greatly affecting the fishery activities.
Source: National Hurricane Center
Despite extreme weather, this October still saw nearly a hundred Vietnamese fishing vessels intruding into the coastal waters of Chinese mainland and Hainan Island. As the typhoons cease, the Vietnamese IUU fishing are likely to rebound again.