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China Fishery vessel Damanzaihao stripped of Belize registration

The move allegedly renders the factory vessel stateless, NGO legal director tells IntraFish.

Belize has revoked its registration of China Fishery-owned factory vessel Damanzaihao.

The International Marine Registry of Belize (IMMARBE) stripped the vessel of its flag for failing to appropriately complete its vessel registration materials and notify Belize of its record of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, according to a statement issued Wednesday.

The move renders the vessel stateless, according to Legal Director of Environmental activist group Sea Shepherd, Brett Somermeyer, who has been working to get the vessel de-listed in the region.

Sea Shepherd said in a Facebook post it would work to ensure that other potential flag states follow suit should the Damanzaihao ever be allowed to leave Peruvian waters.

Peruvian authorities last week initiated an investigation into China Fishery Group and detained the vessel in the El Ferrol bay, Chimbote.

The ship is being held for a period of 70 days for allegedly polluting the Peruvian sea. Ministerio Publico Fiscalia de la Nacion said fines for the vessel could be up to $7 million (€6 million) for the damage.

Peruvian prosecutors and ministry officials are actively working with Sea Shepherd to defend the ongoing detention of the Damanzaihao pending a criminal investigation, with a hearing on the detention status scheduled for Monday, June 14.

In April, bankrupt China Fishery Group said it would sell the controversial vessel to Singapore-based DVS-R PTE.

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