The Indo-Pacific countries and the United States will monitor illegal fishing even when boats turn their transponders off to go under the radar.

Several countries in the Indo-Pacific region say Chinese vessels often violate their exclusive economic zones and cause environmental damage and economic losses.
Several countries in the Indo-Pacific region say Chinese vessels often violate their exclusive economic zones and cause environmental damage and economic losses. (AP Archive)

US, Japan, Australia, and India will unveil a maritime initiative at the Quad summit in Tokyo to curb illegal fishing in the Indo-Pacific.

The maritime initiative will use satellite technology to create a tracking system for illegal fishing, the Financial Times reported on Saturday, citing a US official.

The system will be tracking the waters from the Indian Ocean to the South Pacific by connecting surveillance centres in Singapore and India.

US 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.

The four countries have increased cooperation in the face of China's growing assertiveness.

According to the Financial Times report, the maritime 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.

'Freedom of the seas'

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

Last week, US Vice President Kamala Harris stressed the need to maintain freedom of the seas, which Washington says is challenged by China, while addressing a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

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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Source: Reuters