Plans for the construction of China’s first factory fish-farming ship at the Nansha islands are underway, the China Science Daily has reported.
The converted oil tanker could weigh as much as 200,000 tons, and will function as a multi-purpose mobile offshore production base, according to Lei Jilin, a researcher at the Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute.
Lei said the initial plan is to deploy the factory ship at Mischief Reef, one of China’s major fishing bases in the southernmost area.
“In addition to defending the reef, it will contribute to fish processing and storage, and function as an anchorage to provide supplies and services to deep sea fishing vessels,” Lei added.
Lei said that if the ship runs well, they will deploy more to other islands, adding that marine fisheries and ocean-going fishing are just as significant as offshore oil and other resources.
An increasing number of fishermen have settled in the area to breed aquatic products. Li said government support can help develop deep-sea fisheries and uphold sovereignty over marine territories.