Where is your squid coming from? Most likely unregulated waters, according to a new international study

New research fuses multiple data sources to advance understanding of the expanding footprint of global squid fleets

Washington, D.C., March 10, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Scientists and policymakers have voiced growing concerns about the decline of global squid stocks, but little has been done to date to target squid fishing activities that are expanding into unregulated spaces, according to a new international study.

The study, lead-authored by Katherine Seto, an assistant professor of environmental studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, was published in Science Advances on March 10. It explores the unregulated nature of global squid fisheries across three oceans over a three-year period, and how these fisheries continue to grow and shift locations beyond the jurisdiction of management bodies. The research was conducted through a research partnership between Global Fishing Watch, the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security at the University of Wollongong, and the Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency.

Using satellite imagery, vessel tracking, and data monitoring, the study found that the fishing conducted by this globalized light-luring squid fishery was extensive, fishing between 149,000-251,000 vessel days annually, and that effort increased 68% over the study period from 2017-2020.

“These squid fisheries are highly mobile, fishing multiple oceans within a given year,” said Seto. “While some conservation and management measures are in place to regulate this type of fishing, our research found that actors may take advantage of these fragmented regulations to maximize resource extraction. To address this, we need to address the factors that promote the growth and expansion of fishing efforts, and increase data sharing and communication between management entities.”

The study found that these squid fishing vessels fished largely (86%) in unregulated areas, equating to 4.4 million total hours of fishing time between 2017-2020. While unregulated fishing is not necessarily illegal, it presents challenges for fisheries sustainability and resource equity, and has been connected to questionable human rights and labor practices.

“By synthesizing data from multiple sources, we created a robust picture of the fishing activity of the high seas squid fleets. Our analysis highlights the interconnectedness of fishing grounds used by the fleets,” said Nate Miller, head of applied research at Global Fishing Watch and co-author of the study. “It demonstrates the critical importance of comprehensive data sharing agreements between regional bodies for improving understanding of the movements of these vessels and quantifying their impacts on squid stocks.”

One major challenge has been the vessels freely fishing between regulated and unregulated spaces, fishing huge amounts of squid with little to no oversight or data reporting. Fishing in unregulated areas has also steadily increased and seems to be preferred despite concerns over stock status, according to the study.

“These unregulated fishing activities require urgent action. They occur in our global commons, shared by all, yet few receive any benefit, and neighboring coastal States are increasingly concerned regarding the impact on their own shared fish stocks,” said study co-author Quentin Hanich, from the University of Wollongong.

Masanori Miyahara, a co-author and advisor to the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan, agrees.

“These catches are often not reported to domestic or international management bodies, nor are they incorporated into estimates of fishing effort, harvest, or stock status,” said Miyahara. “While it is good to see both the North Pacific Fisheries Commission and the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation strengthen their management, urgent responses are also required in the Indian and Atlantic Oceans to ensure that fleets do not simply evade regulation by moving elsewhere.”

As we experience an increased demand for seafood products globally, we must understand the factors that facilitate the increase and expansion of fishing efforts to address the challenges of unregulated fishing, according to the study.

“Like all activities in the global commons, fishing on the high seas should be fully regulated. Yet the regional bodies with the competence to adopt management measures are restrained by a handful of states whose self-interests are best served when such activities are unregulated or done with few limits,” said Osvaldo Urrutia S., professor of international law at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso in Chile. “The global squid fishery shows how important it is to strengthen regional management of high seas resources and to continue international calls for states and regional bodies to take this challenge seriously.”


Lisa Tossey
Global Fishing Watch

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8785747

Gorilla Technology Chosen to Participate in UK Tech Delegation Visit to Southeast Asia

One of 15 innovative companies selected to meet with business and government leaders in the region

LONDON, March 10, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Gorilla Technology Group Inc. (“Gorilla”) (NASDAQ: GRRR), a global provider of AI based edge video analytics, IoT technologies, and cybersecurity, today announced it is one of a select group of companies chosen to participate in the first ever UK-Southeast Asia Tech Week, sponsored by the UK Department for Business and Trade (DBT).

The DBT will lead the delegation of 15 innovative UK technology companies offering best-in-class, export ready solutions in the Net Zero and Internet of Things sectors, including Gorilla, to Jakarta, Indonesia and Bangkok, Thailand from March 13 to March 20 for a series of commercially focused engagements with influential businesses and government representatives from across the region.

“We are honored to accompany the UK Department for Business and Trade and several fellow innovative companies for this important opportunity to build relationships and exchange ideas with leaders and officials in the region. This region continues to be of significant interest for Gorilla as we pursue our global expansion strategy,” said Gorilla Chairman and CEO, Jay Chandan.

During the delegation’s visit, Gorilla will have an opportunity to participate in one-on-one matching sessions with targeted potential partners and customers; on-site visits to local organizations and companies; workshops and roundtables on the ASEAN tech landscape and local market requirements; and networking events with key business leaders and influential government officials.

Natalie Black, His Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Asia Pacific, said: “I am pleased to welcome Gorilla Technology to Southeast Asia as part of a delegation of cutting-edge UK tech companies. Southeast Asia is an important region for the UK, with a digital economy projected to exceed US$360bn by 2025. I look forward to witnessing new and growing relationships unfold following UK-Southeast Asia Tech Week.”

About Gorilla Technology Group Inc.
Gorilla, headquartered in London, is a global solution provider in security intelligence, network intelligence, business intelligence and IoT technology. Gorilla develops a wide range of solutions including Smart Cities, Smart Retail, Enterprise Security, and Smart Media. In addition, Gorilla provides a complete Security Convergence Platform to government institutions, telecom companies and private enterprises with network surveillance and cyber security.

Gorilla places an emphasis on offering leading technology, expert service, and precise delivery, and ensuring top-of-the-line, intelligent and strong edge AI solutions that enable clients to improve operational performance and efficiency. With continuous core technology development, Gorilla will deliver edge AI solutions to managed service providers, distributors, system integrators, and hardware manufacturers.

No Offering of Securities
This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or exchange, or the solicitation of an offer to buy or exchange, any securities, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, sale or exchange would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements, which are based on estimates, assumptions, and expectations. Actual results and performance could differ materially and adversely from those expressed or implied in forward-looking statements. Gorilla does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, except as required by law.

Jeff Fox
The Blueshirt Group for Gorilla

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8786080

Uyghur actor portraying ‘black-hearted drug dealer’ in video plays to racist tropes

A public service video featuring a Uyghur actor who portrays a “black-hearted drug dealer” preying on Chinese women recently went viral in China.

But researchers and activists have criticized the choice of a Uyghur for the role, saying it plays on old racist tropes about Uyghur men, who have historically been victims of drug trafficking rather than perpetrators.

“I’m a black-hearted drug dealer, but I’d never tell you this,” the actor, Turghunjan Mehmet, says to the camera from a dimly-lit room.

“I’d never tell you that I’d package methaqualone as candy and give it to you,” he says. “Its street name is ‘Buddha’s Virtue.’ It can trigger severe coma and lethal respiratory failure.”

The camera shows him giving the candy to an apparently Han Chinese woman in a coffee shop.

“If [Chinese authorities] are sincere in their attempts to try to integrate Uyghurs into society, this video fails completely,” said Henryk Szadziewski, an American expert on Uyghur affairs. “It reinforces the racist stereotypes people already have in their heads: that Uyghurs are criminals.”

The 90-second video garnered nearly 2 million likes within a day of its release on Feb. 8th, according to an article by Manya Koetse, a Chinese media analyst.

Online commenters praised Turghunjan’s good looks and convincing portrayal, with some saying they found it hard to tell that he was an actor, rather than an actual drug dealer. “You can only play [this role] well if you’ve seen a lot of drug dealers,” one said.

Turghunjan has portrayed a dealer in several other videos posted by the Xinjiang Narcotics Control Commission. In one, he raps in handcuffs, reeling off the slang terms for different controlled substances while standing next to a police officer.

According to an interview with Turghunjan in a state newspaper, he manages social media accounts and produces videos for the narcotics control commission as well as the Xinjiang Fire Department. To prepare for the drug dealer role, he said he repeatedly watched crime and espionage thrillers.

“With short videos, there’s a ‘five-second’ principle,” he told the Xinjiang Daily. ”If you don’t draw someone’s interest within five seconds, they’ll close the browser window.”

Radio Free Asia made repeated attempts to contact Turghunjan and speak with someone at the narcotics control commission, but was unable to reach either one.

Ironic and painful

For many Uyghurs, continued government encouragement of the stereotype that Uyghurs deal drugs is both ironic and painful, because they have suffered greatly from the problem of drug use.

Drugs took off in China starting in the 1980s as its economy opened to the world. A heroin epidemic swept through the Uyghur Region in the 1990s, accelerating the spread of HIV.

Xinjiang authorities, obsessed with fighting “ethnic splitism,” did little to stop drug trafficking, said Bahtiyar Shemshidin, a Uyghur activist in Canada who prior to 2000 worked in the anti-drug unit of the Ghulja Public Security Bureau.

“The main victims of addiction were our Uyghur youth. Many of them died, and many of them contracted AIDS,” Bahtiyar said. “The authorities sporadically arrested small drug dealers, who were mostly Hui Muslims. But the big drug dealers were Chinese.”

In the face of government inaction on drugs, Uyghurs in Ghulja organized meshrep, social gatherings that emphasized moral conduct and abstinence from drugs, Behtiyar recounted.

Authorities initially welcomed meshrep, but then banned them as they gained popularity and participating Uyghurs started advocating against government policies such as alcohol sales.

On Feb. 5th, 1997, the Ghulja police, along with the Chinese army, opened fire on Uyghurs protesting the meshrep ban, killing as many as 200. Mass arrests followed, sending many Uyghurs to earlier versions of the re-education camps that have proliferated since 2017 and have been central to China’s current genocidal campaign.

‘Absurd suggestion’

In 2023, it is absurd to suggest that Uyghurs have the freedom of movement, let alone the motivation, to deal drugs, said Bahtiyar.

“Uyghurs can’t become drug dealers and sell drugs under heavy Chinese surveillance,” he said. “They can’t even move from one village to another without the government’s permission– and forget about Uyghurs living in Chinese cities.”

From the 1980s to the present day, the primary source of narcotics for both Xinjiang and China has been the “Golden Triangle” border regions of Burma, Laos, Thailand and China, experts say. Chinese towns in Guangdong province such as Boshe have been notorious for methamphetamine and ketamine production.

A 2021 Ministry of Public Security report singled out Guangdong, Zhejiang, and Yunnan provinces as centers of drug crimes and addiction. It did not list Xinjiang. The Urumqi Public Security Bureau reported a decrease in drug confiscation and crime relative to inner Chinese provinces.

Cycles of violence

In addition to being inaccurate, state-sponsored stereotyping of ethnic minorities as ruthless criminals contributes to cycles of violence, said Mathias Boelinger, a correspondent for Deutsche Welle and author of the German-language book “The High-Tech Gulag: China’s Crime Against the Uyghurs.”

“These patterns cause tragedy that ends in murder,” he said on Twitter, citing a 2009 incident in Guangdong Province in which Han Chinese workers at a toy factory murdered two Uyghur colleges following false rumors that the Uyghurs had raped two Han women.

The “Shaoguan Incident” led to riots and reprisals in Xinjiang’s capital Urumqi in which at least 197 people were killed, the majority of them Han Chinese, according to the Chinese government. A security clampdown swiftly followed.

Government endorsement of ethnic stereotypes replicates Western colonial practices that the Chinese Communist Party has long condemned, Boelinger told RFA. “These stereotypes that many Han have toward other ethnic groups, particularly the Muslim groups and Tibetans, [are] a little bit similar to the colonial stereotypes of the Europeans,” he said.

“The Han see themselves as victims of colonialism–which they are–but at the same time they also have their own colonial history, where they are the colonizers, and nowadays in China there is very little reflection on this.”

“You find some of these stereotypes in speeches by party officials,” he added. “From the perspective of any colonial power, the people that they colonize are wild people.”

Continued promotion of these tropes suggests a lack of government interest in changing policies on the Uyghurs, said Szadziewski.

“It just shows this idea that Uyghurs need reforming, Uyghurs need to be changed, Uyghurs need to be reeducated,” he said. “This kind of thinking led to some terrible things in the last five years.”

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