Fujian Province offers new subsidies to its large distant-water fishing fleet

The distant-water fleet in Fujian, China.

Even as the Chinese government negotiates at the World Trade Organization for the phasing-out of harmful fishery subsidies at home, Fujian Province has announced a spate of new subsidies for its large distant-water fishing fleet.

Payments for new vessels and handouts to encourage the shipment home of tuna catches are part of a new plan recently published by the Fujian government.

Titled “Eight Measures for the High-Quality Development of the Provincial Distant-Water Fishing Fleet,” the plan aims to add 50 new vessels to the province’s fleet between now and 2023, bringing it to 650 vessels. The province has also set a goal of catching 650,000 metric tons (MT) on the high seas in 2023, but didn't detail its current volumes being landed.

Fishing companies in Fujian – which is home to leading players like Nasdaq Stock Exchange-listed Pingtan Marine as well as Poly Hong Dong, which has a major base in Mauritania – can claim between CNY 1 million and CNY 4 million (USD 150,000 and USD 600,000, EUR 130,000 and EUR 520,000) toward the cost of new vessels, with the larger sum for “large-scale seine-net” vessels targeting tuna. The Atlantic, Pacific, and Southern oceans are singled out in the eight-point plan as fishing destinations for the new vessels.

The Fujian government document also calls on municipalities in the region to establish “monitoring systems” to ensure vessels from their jurisdictions are abiding by “foreign-related” rules and international conventions. The document also calls for “informatization” of the fleet – suggesting vessels covered by government subsidies should install the Beidou satellite system, China’s answer to the GPS system, as well as video monitoring systems. 

Government assistance will also be provided in the form of training programs for vessel crews, according to the eight-point plan.

Photo courtesy of mayday6510/Shutterstock


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