China launches “biggest and best” fisheries research vessels for international waters
China has launched its two largest fisheries research vessels to date that will give it an extensive reach into global waters.
Launched at the Hu Dong Zhong Hua shipyard in Shanghai, the “Lan Hai 101” and the “Lan Hai 201” –both 3,000 tons and 85 meters in length – will study fisheries resources and the marine environment in seas around China as well as the high seas, including the Arctic Ocean and the Southern Ocean, according to a statement from the Chinese Academy of Fisheries, which will staff the vessels.
“With these vessels, we can now construct a comprehensive research platform,” said Chinese Fisheries Academy President Wang Xiao Hu, speaking at the launch ceremony in Shanghai. “These are our most modern and largest vessels so far.”
The vessels are funded by the China Ministry of Agriculture, which has responsibilities for fisheries.
Antarctic krill will be a focus of effort for the research vessels. China has prioritized expanding its catch of Antarctic krill and has been building its presence in the Southern Ocean in the past five to 10 years, including adding vessels capable of on-board processing.