Fishing with the mafia

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Posted 13 Jun 2012 in china

On may the 31st, a much awaited trial in Qinhuangdao, a nearby city, was about to send lots of pirates to prison. 20 of them were being judged, for their involvement in the murder of 4 fishermen 15 months ago. In the chief’s village like in many others, the mafia – a combination of party officials and thugs, with family connections- runs the port and sets its own rules regardless of quotas and other restrictions on resource. These dangerous mechanisms are flourishing in a society where money has become an obsession and rule of law remains to be implemented. Thus, in this Hebei fisherman village, whatever your fishing license and existing regulations, if you don’t bribe, you don’t fish. I have been following this story for a year now and met fishermen and widows several times. Obviously, those being judged are not the “big fishes”.


+ this short film :

A journey with Chinese fishermen in Bohai sea from jordanpouille on Vimeo.

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