Thursday, March 30, 2023

US sanctions companies for illegal fishing, rights abuses in Chinese waters

The Treasury Department said Friday it is sanctioning a group of companies and individuals linked to illegal fishing operations and human rights abuses in Chinese waters.

A company is accused of maintaining working conditions so dangerous that five workers died after 13 months at sea, with the bodies of three being dumped at sea instead of being sent back to their homes.

Cayman Islands-registered fishing company Pingtan Marine Enterprise Ltd., which maintains yachts based in China and has stock traded on the Nasdaq Stock Market, was identified by the Office of Foreign Assets Control for sanctions.

The United States has accused the company of illegally shipping endangered species and abusing crew members through its subsidiaries and a fleet of more than 100 fishing boats.

The Biden administration also says the two individuals, Li Zhenyu and Xinrong Zhuo, as well as Dalian Ocean Fishing Co Ltd and other companies engaged in illegal fishing.

A senior department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to preview US action, said on a call with reporters that Dalian employs crew members who work an average of 18 hours a day, ending They live on rotten food and drink dirty water.

Illegal unreported fishing is associated with remote water fishing, where boats catch fish in other countries or in international waters. China’s deep water fishing fleet is the largest in the world.

The crackdown on Friday, marking International Anti-Corruption Day, identified 157 Chinese fishing vessels, including banned companies and persons of interest.

Sanctioned companies will have their assets and interests in the US blocked, and US companies doing business with sanctioned entities will be required to sever ties with them.


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