China to revise key law on distant-water fishing

Published on
July 2, 2019

China has signaled a redrafting of its key law on overseas fishing. 

Its law, “The Administration of Offshore Fisheries, 2003,” is being updated by the Chinese government, which has been circulating drafts to regional officials and fisheries industry representatives.

The new draft is necessary because China has joined five international fishery bodies or agreements since the 2003 law went into effect, according to a statement from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

The new law will allow for higher fines and new limits on switching nationality or switching flags on vessels. But details on how or when the new regulations will be implemented have not yet become publicly available.

The ministry statement also said that China wants to be a “responsible international nation” that abides by global agreements to reduce illegal fishing. 

“Sustainable exploitation of international fishery resources has become an international consensus,” the statement said.

Chinese fishing companies require licenses from the ministry to operate in domestic and in distant waters.

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