Chinese fishing company Pingtan Marine Enterprise has been granted approval by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs for 27 vessels to operate in international waters. Following refits and upgrades, the 27 vessels are expected to operate in the Indian Ocean.
According to a Pingtan spokesman, seven vessels will be modified to have an annual catch capacity of between 6000 and 8000 tonnes, working as seiners fitted with lights to attract fish, primarily focusing on tuna, sardine, blackbody trevally, anchovy and mackerel.
A further twenty vessels will be refitted to work as squid jiggers with an annual catch capacity of 2000 to 3000 tonnes each.
The vessels in question are to be extensively modified, both with fishing equipment for these fisheries and also to increase their gross tonnage from the current 192 to 480gt. On completion the seiners will have been extended to 1140gt and the squid catchers to 1100gt.
These 27 vessels are expected to increase Pingtan’s harvest capacity by between 80,000 and 110,000 tonnes.
‘We are honoured and excited to receive approvals to operate in the international waters of the Indian Ocean. We know very well that this decision made by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs is a way of encouraging us to progress and it reaffirmed Pingtan’s position in China’s distant water fisheries,’ said Pingtan chairman and CEO Xinrong Zhuo.
‘We look forward to significant improvement in both revenue and production capacity, as these rebuilt large-scale squid jigging and light luring seine vessels will give full play to their advanced technical performance in the new bountiful and vast fishing territory, greatly expand our catch volume, enhance our product mix, and meet the increasing demand from our online and offline sales channels.’