China to build 200,000-ton fish farming ship at Mischief Reef, territory claimed by Philippines

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Mischief Reef

The following is translated from Chinese media:

Chinese scientists are planning to intensify China’s exploitation of fish resources in the South China Sea.

Lei Jilin, a research fellow at Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute, repeatedly stressed in an interview with China Science Daily, “We will not merely guard our territories while neglecting exploiting our deep-sea resources.”

According to Chinese scientists, Mischief Reef, more than 1,000 km from Hainan Province, is one of China’s important fishery bases. The reef is in China’s remote tropical deep-sea area with superior natural conditions for development of fishery and fish farming.

At present, scientists and technicians are helping more and more fishermen to settle down there to develop deep-sea cage-culture fish farming. However, as the reef lies far from the Chinese mainland, there are difficulties to ensure supplies for daily production and life.

To deal with the problems, Lei says that intensive preparations have been made for China’s first fish farming industrial ship. Initial design of the ship has been completed. According to the plan, an old oil tanker will be purchased to be transformed into a large fish farming industrial complex for fish farming, processing and storage and to provide services on the sea.

When it is built, it can be stationed at the reef to administer and guard the sea area and provide berth, fish processing and shipping, supplies, relief and assistance for fishing boats in addition to its own operation as a fish farming complex. It will thus become a mobile production base on the sea.

The fish farming industrial ship will be a pilot project. If it proves successful, more ships will be built to station on other isles and reefs.

Lei told the reporter that in the past, China stationed troops and people at border areas to do the farming there while guarding the border. We now have to extend the tradition to stationing troops and people to conduct fishery and fish farming at marine border areas while guarding the border.Source: “China making preparations for the construction of a 200,000-ton fish farming ship to be deployed at Mischief Reef” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)

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