China to expand fishing, research in disputed South China Sea waters
One of China’s biggest fishing companies has signed an agreement with the country’s top fisheries research center to study methods to increase catches in a contested area of the South China Sea.
Guangzhou Fisheries Group Limited has signed an agreement with Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences’ South China Sea Fisheries Research Institute to research mariculture and research projects in the island group, which China names the Nansha and which the Philippines claim as the Spratly Islands.
The academy’s head, Li Chunhou, and Guangzhou Fisheries Group CEO Wu Hongguang agreed to “industrial upgrading” and an offshore deep-water cage culture project off the coast of the islands. The agreement will also see the testing of fishing technology in the region as well as the “creation of seafood brands” and “training of scientific and technological personnel,” according to the document.
Stoking nationalistic fervor, Chinese supermarkets have made much of annual sales promotions for ‘Nansha’ seafood catches. China’s claim of the islands – and its aggressive expansion into the area - has angered other countries in the region, including the Philippines and Japan.