The New Yorker has an excellent story by Ian Urbina entitled "The Crimes Behind The Seafood You Eat" that details how "China has invested heavily in an armada of far-flung fishing vessels, in part to extend its global influence." This investment and expansion, the story says, "has come at grave human cost."
"In the past few decades, partly in an effort to project its influence abroad, China has dramatically expanded its distant-water fishing fleet. Chinese firms now own or operate terminals in ninety-five foreign ports. China estimates that it has twenty-seven hundred distant-water fishing ships, though this figure does not include vessels in contested waters; public records and satellite imaging suggest that the fleet may be closer to sixty-five hundred ships. (The U.S. and the E.U., by contrast, have fewer than three hundred distant-water fishing vessels each.)
"Some ships that appear to be fishing vessels press territorial claims in contested waters, including in the South China Sea and around Taiwan. 'This may look like a fishing fleet, but, in certain places, it’s also serving military purposes,' Ian Ralby, who runs I.R. Consilium, a maritime-security firm, told me.
"China’s preëminence at sea has come at a cost. The country is largely unresponsive to international laws, and its fleet is the worst perpetrator of illegal fishing in the world, helping drive species to the brink of extinction. Its ships are also rife with labor trafficking, debt bondage, violence, criminal neglect, and death. 'The human-rights abuses on these ships are happening on an industrial and global scale,' Steve Trent, the C.E.O. of the Environmental Justice Foundation, said.
You can read the entire story here.