The activities of a fleet of Chinese
flagged fishing vessels have been heavily reported in the South African media
this week in response to reports on Karmicsangoma of illegal fishing. Concerns were raised by Mark Hicks
who noticed the Lu Huang Yuan Yu fleet travelling close to the Transkei
coastline in an area known to be holding sardines amassing for their annual
migration. The vessels could be seen on satellite tracking applications in the
daytime, but at night their AIS transponders were turned off so that they
effectively disappeared from public view.
The South African Department for
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries investigated the activities of the vessels and
in a radio interrogation conducted by the inspectors and were told that
the fleet were sailing from China heading to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Despite initial indications of ...