China fishing fleet returning from South China Sea

A fisherman waving the national flag before the departure.

A 30-boat fishing fleet casting nets in the South China Sea left Meiji Reef on Wednesday evening for Sanya Port in the southernmost province of Hainan, bringing a 13-day voyage to an end.

The fleet, including a 3,000-tonne lead boat carrying fresh water, fuel and other supplies, left Sanya Port on July 12 and arrived at Yongshu Reef, Zhubi Reef and Meiji Reef of Nansha Islands, according to a Xinhua reporter on board.

The fleet took refuge at the bay of Meiji Reef during a bout of bad weather on July 20 and decided to return to Sanya after a meeting on Wednesday when the weather eased, he said.

The fleet is 615 nautical miles from Sanya and is expected to arrive at the city within four days.

Chinese fishermen are setting their sights on the vast and largely untapped fishery resources in the South China Sea.

China on Tuesday officially set up the city of Sansha on Yongxing Island, which administers the vast islands of Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha in the South China Sea.

Xinhua