Oceans provide most of the oxygen we breathe and much of our earth’s biodiversity, in addition to being a source of economic activity and enjoyment for all of us. Nearly three billion people around the world depend on the ocean for protein. But virtually all the world’s oceans are badly overfished. By some estimates, our oceans could be empty of fish in just 30 years—within most people’s lifetimes.

To many people in China, the 21st century is “the ocean century.” The ocean represents a rich cache of resources, and China is developing economic, military, scientific and technological capabilities in order to become a “strong ocean country.”

The China Ocean Institute is a consulting firm that conducts research on Chinese ocean and fisheries policy.