"Great Wall of Lights: China's Sea Power On Darwin's Doorstep"

"ABOARD THE OCEAN WARRIOR in the eastern Pacific Ocean — It’s 3 a.m., and after five days plying through the high seas, the Ocean Warrior is surrounded by an atoll of blazing lights that overtakes the nighttime sky.

“Welcome to the party!” says third officer Filippo Marini as the spectacle floods the ship’s bridge and interrupts his overnight watch.

It’s the conservationists’ first glimpse of the world’s largest fishing fleet: an armada of nearly 300 Chinese vessels that have sailed halfway across the globe to lure the elusive Humboldt squid from the Pacific Ocean’s inky depths.

As Italian hip hop blares across the bridge, Marini furiously scribbles the electronic IDs of 37 fishing vessels that pop up as green triangles on the Ocean Warrior’s radar onto a sheet of paper, before they disappear."

Joshua Goodman reports for the Associated Press September 24, 2021.

Source: AP, 10/04/2021