Chinese provinces build new trawlers for expansion in Myanmar, Africa

Published on
April 11, 2016

Myanmar and Guinea Bissau are being marked as tragets for growth by fisheries officials in the south-easterly province of Fujian which has announced bullish figures for long-distance catches in 2015: these rose by 20 percent to CNY 3.15 billion (USD 472 million) in value and 3.18 million tons in volume.

These figures suggest China’s long-distance fishing returns are greater than the national official figures for growth in Chinese long-distance fishing suggest.

The fisheries bureau claims 500 vessels operate from provincial ports, the bulk of them from ten companies in the city of Fuzhou and six companies in Quanzhou. Another 50 vessels are under construction. A statement from the fisheries bureau has exhorted companies to “explore opportunities and set up subsidiaries” abroad.

Conservationists and diplomats are both alarmed by the mass expansion of China’s fleet given tensions in the South China Sea over territorial disputes are leading to increasingly regular confrontations between Chinese and southeast Asian vessels. In early April, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society claimed to have tracked six Chinese vessels fishing illegally using drift nets in the Indian Ocean. Its ship, the Steve Irwin, tracked one of the trawlers back to the port of Zhuhai in Guangdong province.

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