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Chinese vessels sought shelter to survive monsoon at Gwadar Port

ISLAMABAD, June 25 : Five Chinese fishing vessels at Gwadar Anchorage calling for emergent shelter from the monsoon of the Indian Ocean were slandered by Indian media as pillagers of fishery resources in Pakistan.

However, such an allegation seemed to be on shaky ground, according to Gwadar Pro.

As per the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Karachi, the five Chinese fishing vessels at Gwadar Anchorage were calling for emergent shelter from the monsoon of the Indian Ocean on May 27.

The aforesaid Chinese vessels were only 5 nautical miles away from the Gwadar port and have informed all the relevant authorities such as Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA), Model Customs Collectorate Gwadar (MCC Gwadar), Gwadar Port Authority (GPA) and Balochistan Fisheries Department (Fisheries) on June 4.

According to the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Karachi, these Chinese vessels would like to stay at Gwadar Anchorage and Gwadar Port to maintain machines, replenish stocks, etc.

The Chinese crew, who took shelter from the monsoon, told Gwadar Pro that the fishing boat arrived in the international waters of the Indian Ocean in late November 2020 for fishing.

As the southwest monsoon prevailed in the northern part of the Indian Ocean in mid-May this year, the fleet started to enter Pakistan’s territorial waters from the high seas to take shelter from the wind.

“In the fishing ground where our fleet operates, the wind gust can reach level 7-8 every day; the sea waves can reach 2.5-3.6 meters; and the surges can reach 1-1.8 meters.

Under such circumstances, the fishing boats are shaking terribly, which poses a very big safety risk,” the crew said, adding that things got worse when the engines of two of the fishing vessels malfunctioned and they had to get shelter as soon as possible.

Gwadar Port is the closest port to our fishing ground. And we all know that Pakistan is our iron-clad brother, that’s why we headed to Gwadar Port.”

According to the Chinese fishery company, they were in full compliance with the rules of International waters with related documents during their stay in Pakistani territorial waters, and did not conduct any Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.

On June 11, Pakistani media Azadi News posted a video on YouTube showing these Chinese fishing boats heading for Gwadar Port, alleging that Chinese fishing boats plunder Baluchistan’s fishing resources.

On June 13, India’s Asian News Agency (ANI) made an issue of the news and slandered Chinese fishing boats in Gwadar are endangering the livelihood of the people of Baluchistan. And Pakistan’s English newspaper released a follow-up report.

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