Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Chinese Trawlers Hurt Local Fishermen in Arakan

Thandwe: Local fishermen are facing a crisis with their livelihoods as Chinese trawlers have been dominating their fishing waters off the coast in Thandwe in southern Arakan State, Burma.


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"Over a thousand Chinese trawlers are fishing every day off the coast of Thandwe. They have occupied every area on the sea where the local boats used to fish and many local fishermen are facing the loss of their business because they are unable to compete against the Chinese, who are using the power of man, money, and machine for their work," said a fishing boat owner from Thandwe.

According to the source, the Chinese trawlers have been catching fish off the coast of Thandwe since October, 2010, in partnership with a local company known as Pyi Phyo Tun, which is owned by close associates of the Burmese regime.

Since the arrival of the Chinese trawlers, authorities have restricted local fishing rights, giving priority and open access to the Chinese boats.

"Now it is like our sea has become part of China, everywhere we look we can see Chinese trawlers fishing freely in the sea while we are being restricted to fishing in own territory," said the source.

The Arakan Sea is abundant in various fish species, and the Chinese trawlers have been particularly fishing for hilsa, sardine, giant cat fish, shark and some other species for import into China.

According to the fishermen, it is becoming difficult for them to catch enough fish to maintain their livelihood since their fishing areas have been encroached upon by the Chinese trawlers. There are concerns that if the area is overfished that some valuable species may be wiped out in the area, because the Chinese trawlers use modern fishing tackles to skim the sea to catch fish.

http://www.narinjara.com/details.asp?id=2910
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