China is planning to increase the catch from its far-sea fishing fleet as it clamps down on fishing in its own heavily depleted waters, in a move likely to heighten maritime tension with other coastal nations.

The country’s state-subsidised long-distance fleet is targeting an increase in its annual catch from 2m tonnes in 2016 to 2.3m tonnes in 2020, according to the agriculture ministry. Some 90m tonnes of wild fish were caught globally in 2016, according to the UN. 

China’s far-ocean fleet increased its catch by nearly 50 per cent over the five years to 2016, according to China’s agriculture ministry. The haul — often sold to Chinese fish processors that then export to Europe and the US — has fuelled international concerns over dwindling fish stocks and illegal fishing in territorial waters. 

Markets were closed in the US on Monday for Presidents’ Day, but in Europe the pan-regional Stoxx 600 index fell 0.6 per cent, with the Xetra Dax in Frankfurt shedding 0.5 per cent and the FTSE 100 ending 0.6 per cent lower. 

In Asia Pacific equities, futures tip Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 index to drop 0.6 per cent at the open while Tokyo’s Topix is set to fall 0.4 per cent when trading begins. Trading resumes in Hong Kong today but mainland Chinese bourses are still on holiday, as are those in Vietnam and Taiwan.

Corporate earnings reports out today include HSBC, BHP Billiton, Hang Seng Bank and MGM China.

The economic calendar for Tuesday is not without its charms (all times Hong Kong):

  • 08.30: Reserve Bank of Australia February meeting minutes 
  • 14.00: Japan machine tool orders 
  • 15.00: Japan convenience store sales 
  • Indonesia motorcycle and vehicle sales data are also slated for release today.

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