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Chinese Deny To Be Overfishing Pacific Albacore

A China based fishing company that owns 20 percent in tuna processing and exporting factory, Golden Ocean Fiji, has said that it is prepared to be included in efforts to stop illegal tuna fishing in the Pacific.  The company denied that it was overfishing Pacific albacore tuna.

Shanghai Fisheries General Corporation has stakes in Fiji and says it will work with any government that is keen to implement a reporting system to help catch illegal tuna fishing vessels.

Since 2008, dramatically decreased stock levels of albacore tuna have become apparent in Fiji, indicating that the species is becoming more and more threatened.

There have been claims that multi-million dollar subsidies by the Chinese government have caused a dramatic increase in the number of Chinese tuna boats fishing in the Pacific. Governments of the Pacific Islands have been urged to tell China and other countries to stop subsidizing their fleets so that the Pacific can develop its albacore tuna fishery.

Duan Junheng, Shanghai Fisheries Manager, said that the company was committed to long term sustainable fishing in the region. He said that their vessels have never been cited as they have always operated with licenses.

According to Duan, Shanghai Fisheries-owned longliners use Fiji as their base and their catch is off-loaded to Fijian shores. The company stipulates that it has internal management systems to avoid over-fishing.