China sanctions three IUU firms

West African fisheries officials are encouraging local ventures (above) and cracking down on IUU practices.

The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) has taken tough action against three Chinese companies conducting illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in west Africa.

The MoA has cancelled the distant-water fishing certificate of the Lian Run Pelagic Fishery Company. It is facing a total shutdown of its distant-water fishing operations involving 30 vessels.

The ministry has also cancelled fuel subsidies for vessels belonging to two other major Chinese distant-water fishing companies.

Vessels from all three companies were arrested in the west African region, including Guinea and Sierra Leone, by fisheries inspectors last spring.

Evidence of infringements included illegal nets, shark finning and fishing without licence were handed to West African and Chinese authorities.

China is taking measures to restrict the activities of its 2,900 distant-water fishing vessels.

Since 2016, about €90 million (US$110.8 million) in subsidies for 264 fishing vessels belonging to 78 Chinese distant-water fishing companies has been cancelled by the Chinese government.

Three companies lost their certificates for distant-water fishing, while 15 company owners and captains were blacklisted.

Last year, China revised its Management Regulation on Distant Water Fishery and introduced stronger punishment measures against IUU.

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