The world's largest fishing vessel, the factory freezer ship Lafayette, has turned up in Pacific waters east of Australia.
The controversial 49,000-tonne Lafayette, and six attendant trawlers, registered on satellite-tracking systems north-east of Norfolk Island on Friday, Greenpeace said.
The Russian-flagged and Chinese-owned vessel is five times the size of the Dutch factory trawler Margiris, which was banned from Australian waters in 2012. ''It should be very worrying to the region that a vessel of the size of Lafayette would target fish in the South Pacific,'' Greenpeace campaigner Nathaniel Pelle said.
''The waters where it is now face a crisis of overcapacity. A vast number of vessels are making their way into the Pacific chasing reduced fish numbers.'' Lafayette's appearance left regional fisheries organisations scrambling to find out what would likely disappear into its blast freezers. Pacific Andes said it was headed for the jack mackerel fishery. ''It is not taking on board fish in Australian waters,'' a Pacific Andes spokesman in Hong Kong said.
Source : smh.com