Headline — 06 June 2018 — by Rowland A. Parks
The Damanzaihao, a Belize-flagged “fishing factory,” held in Peru

The vessel’s operators are accused of breaking a number of international laws

BELIZE CITY, Fri. May 31, 2018– Belize’s name continues to be dragged into controversy in the international maritime world, because authorities continue to facilitate the use of the country’s flag by vessels which run afoul of maritime laws and standard environmental practice.

The latest fallout involves a Peruvian vessel, the Damanzaihao, which has a capacity to process 547,000 tons of fish per year and is described as the world’s largest “fishing factory”.

The vessel recently started to use a Belize flag, but it was still refused permission to leave Peru, because of a multi-million dollar fine against it which dates back to 2014.

The Damanzaihao is being held in Chimbote. The ship has also been accused of polluting Peru’s waters through the illegal discharge of fluids and effluents while anchored in Chimbote, a publication, The Maritime Executive, reported.

International media reports say that the vessel obtained the Belize flag and was attempting to slip out of Peru and head for China, but it was prevented from doing so by Peru’s Ministry of the Environment.

Sea Shepherd, a non-profit maritime group, sent a vessel, John Paue de Joria, to Peru to assist authorities there with intelligence about illegal fishing. The Damanzaihao also stands accused of destroying ecosystems across the planet.

Sea Shepherd has expressed concern that Belize, which was issued a red card by the European Union for vessels flying its flag which were in violation of IUU (illegal, unregulated, unreported) fishing regulations must refrain from permitting the Damanzaihao to use its flag to prevent it from continuing its destruction of ecosystems.

According to another maritime publication, Under Current News (UNC), the Damanzaihao, owned by Sustainable Fishing Resources, a subsidiary of China Fishery, was recently set to be sold for $10.8 million to Singapore-based firm DVS-R in a package deal worth $18 million that included two other vessels.

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