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China’s fishing industry has celebrated the landing at a port in Shenzhen of its first haul of seafood caught in Mozambique.
The return to port of six vessels owned by the Yu Yi Industry Co. – carrying 359 tons of crustaceans and fish – was marked with a major ceremony overseen by corporate executives and Communist Party officials.
The Shenzhen festivities showcase the prominent role of government in expanding China’s footprint in global waters. Regional government, which orchestrated the creation of Yu Yi by permitting the merger of Shenzhen Hao Hang Yuan Yang Fishing Industry Co. and Shenzhen Hai Zhi Xin Yuan Yang Fishing Industry Co., has sought to revitalise the local fishing industry in Shenzhen.
Local Communist Party Secretary Zhou Jiangtou, who claims credit for instigating the expansion of Yu Yi’s fleet, said China’s “One Belt, One Road” policy – which has the aim of expanding the country’s global trade footprint – was the inspiration behind his plans.
“We will reform our local industrial companies by expanding into new promising industries like distant-water fisheries,” he said at the ceremony, while admiring a line-up of grouper, lobster, and porgy from Mozambique.
Also at the ceremony, Yu Yi Chairman Zhang Zhiming said that with domestic catches falling in recent years, China’s fishing effort was best expended abroad.
“Offshore fishing resources are falling,” Zhang said. “Now is the time for us to expand.”
The six dragnet trawlers that made the 6,000-kilometre journey back from Mozambique – Peng Yuan 801, 802, 803, 805, 806, and 808 – are part of a growing fleet. Hao Hang Yuan Yang Fishing Industry Co. has in the past year built 12 new trawlers, meaning the combined Yu Yi group will have 18 vessels in operation by early 2019.
Many of those are now fishing in the waters of Mozambique, a country with which Yu Yi recently signed a five-year fishing agreement. China has invested significantly in the Southeastern African nation, including putting up a USD 120 million (EUR 106 million) loan for the rebuilding of the port of Beira. However, increased fishing effort in Mozambique has alarmed marine conservation groups, which claim the country is already struggling with the effects of overfishing and a lack of government capacity to enforce its fishing laws.
By Mark GodfreySource: SeaFoodSource