Is China secretly hoarding the world's fish?

It looks like rare earth elements aren't the only commodity China has been allegedly keeping to itself. According to a recent study published in the journal Fish and Fisheries, the Chinese have been drastically underreporting the number of fish that Chinese ships catch in other countries' waters every year.

While China tells the UNFAO, the U.N. agency that tracks global fishing data, that Chinese distant-water fishing vessels take in roughly 368,000 tons of fish a year, the Fish and Fisheries report estimates that the actual weight of the collective catch is more than 12 times that number -- around 4.6 million tons a year. At the same time, China exaggerates its domestic catch.

The report claims that the majority of the haul (64 percent) comes from off the coast of West Africa, where Chinese fishing practices could have a serious impact on the local population. "The study shows the extent of the looting of Africa, where so many people depend on seafood for basic protein," Daniel Pauly, a professor at the University of British Columbia and one of the authors of the study, told the Guardian. "We need to know how many fish have been taken from the ocean in order to figure out what we can catch in the future. Countries need to realize the importance of accurately recording and reporting their catches and step up to the plate, or there will be no fish left for our children."

It's important to note that just because the fishing goes unreported doesn't mean it's illegal. The Chinese government may have negotiated special (and usually secret) agreements with certain African coastal states allowing Chinese vessels to fish in the waters.

It's also true that the Chinese are not alone in exploiting West Africa's abundant fishing grounds. But, if these estimates are correct, Chinese fishermen are doing it on a much larger scale than anyone else, catching as much as 22 West African coastal countries and the other 38 countries fishing in the region combined. The long-term consequences for food security could be quite severe.

Dirk Zeller et al / Journal of Fish and Fisheries


How many American think tanks are run by women?

With the news this week that the very smart Anne-Marie Slaughter, of "Having It All," State Department, and Twitter Fight Club fame, has been tapped to succeed Steve Coll as head the New America Foundation, I was curious: How many major American think tanks are run by women? The short answer: not many. Out of the top 50 U.S. think tanks as ranked by the University of Pennsylvania's James McGann, fully 42 are headed by men. (For the math-impaired out there, that's 84 percent.) Here's the full list, with the women in bold:

1. Brookings Institution - Strobe Talbott

2. Council on Foreign Relations - Richard Haass

3. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace - Jessica T. Mathews

4. Center for Strategic and International Studies - John Hamre

5. RAND Corporation - Michael Rich

6. Cato Institute - John A. Allison

7. Heritage Foundation - Jim DeMint

8. Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars - Jane Harman

9. Peterson Institute for International Economics - Adam Posen

10. American Enterprise Institute - Arthur C. Brooks

11. Center for American Progress - Neera Tanden

12. National Bureau of Economic Research - James Poterba

13. Pew Research Center - Alan Murray

14. Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace - John Raisian

15. Atlantic Council - Frederick Kempe

16. United States Institute of Peace - Jim Marshall

17. Open Society Foundations - Christopher Stone

18. Human Rights Watch - Ken Roth

19. Center for International Development, Harvard University - Ricardo Hausmann

20. Center for Global Development - Nancy Birdsall

21. Urban Institute - Sarah Rosen Wartell

22. Center for New American Security - Richard Fontaine

23. German Marshall Fund of the United States - Craig Kennedy

24. James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, Rice University - Edward P. Djerejian

25. Belfer Center for Science and Int'l Affairs (Harvard) - Graham Allison

26. New America Foundation - Anne-Marie Slaughter

27. Earth Institute, Columbia University - Jeffrey Sachs

28. World Resources Institute - Andrew Steer

29. Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs - Joel H. Rosenthal

30. Hudson Institute - Kenneth R. Weinstein

31. Center for Budget and Policy Priorities - Robert Greenstein

32. International Food Policy Research Institute - Shenggen Fan

33. Foreign Policy Research Institute - Alan Luxenberg

34. Freedom House - David Kramer

35. Pew Center on Global Climate Change - Eileen Claussen

36. Resources for the Future - Philip Sharp

37. Stimson Center (FNA Henry Stimson Center) - Ellen Laipson

38. Inter-American Dialogue - Michael Shifter

39. Acton Institute for Study of Religion and Liberty - Rev. Robert A. Sirico

40. Economic Policy Institute - Lawrence Mishel

41. East West Institute - John Edwin Mroz

42. Competitive Enterprise Institute - Lawson Bader

43. Manhattan Institute - Lawrence J. Mone

44. Reason Foundation - David Nott

45. Center for Transatlantic Relations, SAIS Johns Hopkins - Daniel Hamilton

46. East-West Center Honolulu - Charles E. Morrison

47. Center for the National Interest -  Dimitri K. Simes

48. Mercatus Center, George Mason University - Tyler Cowen

49. Aspen Institute - Walter Isaacson

50. Institute for Policy Studies - John Cavanagh

A few of the smaller shops, including the Middle East Institute (Wendy Chamberlain), Truman National Security Project (Rachel Kleinfeld) and the National Security Network (Heather Hurlburt), are run by women. But otherwise, Thinktankistan is still very much a man's world.

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