BEIJING, July 17 (Xinhuanet) -- China's largest ever fishing fleet has begun fishing in the Nansha Islands in the South China Sea, as of Monday night. The fleet of 30 vessels arrived in waters around the Yong-shu Reef on Sunday, after a 78-hour voyage from Hainan Province. It's the first time that many of the ships and their crews have visited the Nansha Islands.
The largest fishing fleet ever to go to the Nansha Islands, It includes a 3,000-ton supply ship and 29 ships weighing more than 140 tonnes each. They'll spend the next five to ten days fishing in these waters. The actual fishing has yet to begin but crews are busy preparing for store the fish.
Lin Wei, owner of fishing fleet supply ship, said, "When the fish are caught, they will be placed into these iron boxes with ice, and brought to the flash-freeze rooms."
The lowest temperature in the flash-freeze rooms reaches minus 28 degrees Celsius. It preserves the catch and eliminates the trouble of transferring the fish to shore.
Lin Wei also said, "There are 6 flash-freeze rooms on the vessel. 30 tons of fish can be preserved."
As the command ship of the fleet, the supply ship will also provide fuel and fresh water to the fishing ships. Nansha waters are a major source of fish with a potential catch of 5 million tons a year. The fishing vessels departed from the city of Sanya, Hainan province last Thursday. The fleet, organized voluntarily by fishermen, will spend about 10 days fishing near the Reef.