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Arrival of Chinese ‘supertrawlers’ raises concern in Liberia by Lucinda Rouse July 30,2020   |  Source: China Dialogue Ocean

The arrival last month of six Chinese-flagged trawlers caused alarm in Monrovia, the capital of the West African nation of Liberia, over their potential to affect local fisheries and communities.

The size and fishing capacity of the so-called supertrawlers is of a scale previously unknown in Liberia, with a greater level of sophistication than the current fleet of industrial vessels that target demersal fish such as snapper and grouper, species that local fishermen in wooden canoes depend on for their livelihoods.

The new 50-metre-long vessels, the Hao Yan Yu 860, 861, 862, 863, 865 and 866, were built in China in 2018 and are owned by Shenzhen Hao Hang Pelagic Fishery. This private company, which appears on the licence applications, is in turn 100% owned by Shenzhen Binhai Mingzhu Industrial.

Although Liberian authorities have completed a pre-licensing inspection, they have not yet licensed the new vessels, since the required permits from China to allow them to fish in Liberian waters appear to have expired on 31 March.

Under the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)’s Port States Measures Agreement, Liberia is forbidden from issuing licences without prior authorisation from the vessels’ flag state, according to Emma Metieh-Glassco, director general of

Theme(s): Fishing Craft, Gear and Fishing Methods.

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