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32 Chinese Tuna Longliners Arrive In Nansha Islands

A Chinese fishing fleet with 32 small tuna long liners and a 4000 M/T supply vessel have arrived in waters off the Nansha islands in the South China Sea. It took the 32 boats nearly seven days to sail from Hainan province.

This is the second time this fleet has fished here. The whole operation will take 40 days.

Unusually, their men have been joined by their families, with wives doing the cooking.

Chinese tuna longliners arrived in waters off the Nansha islands in the South China Sea

Some of them have found it hard to get used to.

Chinese fishing fleet has arrived in waters off the Nansha islands in the South China Sea.

“I've been seasick a lot, and it’s hot in the kitchen so I have to come up on deck to breathe,” wife of crew member Xu Haifeng said.

Before the boats left port, their families did the shopping and planned meals for the crew.

Ice is needed to keep their food and the fish fresh. That’s why the 4,000-ton supply ship is important.

“This machine can make 50 tons of ice a day. We use the ice to freeze the fish and to freeze meals,” supply ship captain Chen Riwu said.

Before the fishing started, the crew prepared their equipment.

These fishing lines, with more than 200 hooks, can carry hundreds of kilos of fish. “It is 800 meters long. We usually catch Tuna and Mackerel.”

Once the men leave port, the work schedule is erratic.

Family members don’t get a chance to meet every day. A father and his son are in charge of the daily check on the turbines. In the noisy turbine room, communication is difficult.

But the 29-year-old son says he has good reason to choose this job.

“The work conditions are harsh, but it is good that my father is with me, so we can work together and I can take care of him,” crew member Chen Rihao said.

In the next few days, the boats will split into various groups, fishing in different areas. The fishermen hope they will be able to develop this annual activity so they can catch tuna and mackerel around the Nansha islands on a regular basis.