Pingtan launches China's biggest reefer as China gets defensive over US IUU claims

Published on
January 4, 2021

One of China’s largest distant-water fishing companies, Pingtan Marine, has launched what it’s claiming is the country’s largest reefer vessel.

The rebuilt refrigerated transport vessel, Fu Yuan Yu Yun 992, is 132.06 meters in length and has a gross tonnage of 8,374. It’s the largest fishery support vessel in China “so far as approved by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the People's Republic of China,” according to a Pingtan statement.

Pingtan, which is listed on the New York City, U.S.A.-based NASDAQ Stock Exchange, operates its distant-water fishing operation through its subsidiary, Fujian Provincial Pingtan County Ocean Fishing Group Co. The company was recently cited as having connections to illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing by the U.S. State Department, which on 7 December, 2020, issued a notice on Twitter that it had “revoked more than 15 visas for those complicit in IUU fishing who also have links to human trafficking, including associates of Pingtan Marine Enterprise Ltd.”

China Foreign Ministry Spokesman Wang Wen Bing challenged U.S. claims that his country’s fleet is involved in illegal fishing practices at a media briefing on 24 December, 2020. Wang said the claims were “slander” and said China is “a responsible fishing country” that worked to ensure fishing resources are “scientifically and responsibly and sustainably” exploited.

He also described claims by the U.S. Department of Labor that Chinese fishing firms have engaged in forced labor practices as “lies.”

Wang said China is a “responsible” fishing nation with the “strictest” regulations.

Photo courtesy of Pingtan Marine

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