TUNA WAR? Chinese vessel rams Brazilian commercial fishing ship, threatens the crew

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A Chinese commercial fishing vessel rammed a Brazilian fishing expedition shortly after it left Brazilian territory and entered international waters, Brazilian media reports. The Chinese vessel radioed threats to the Brazilian boat shortly before attempting to sink it.

What follows is a rough translation from TV Pajucara (TNH1):

A fishing vessel in Rio Grande do Norte was attacked by a Chinese vessel on Thursday morning. The boats were already in international waters and there were no injuries. According to the president of the Union of the Fishing Industry of Rio Grande do Norte (Sindpesca), Gabriel Calzavara, the reason would be for the tuna trade.

“There is a war going on at sea, a war for the tuna. By radio, the Chinese commander said in Portuguese that he would send the Brazilian ship to the bottom. And it began to approach very quickly, until it hit, “Calzavara says, claiming that the Chinese vessel purposely hit Ocean Fishing I, which is the name of the Pontiguar vessel.

The owner of the company, Everton Padilha, explained that the Brazilian boat just did not wreck thanks to a polyurethane protection that serves as thermal conditioning to keep fish fresh.

“He opened a hole in the hull. Since the sheet of steel has this layer of polyurethane, it prevented the water from invading the interior of the ship. The Potiguar ship resisted [the impact] because it is new and made of steel. Otherwise, it would have sunk, the crew would be dead now and no one would ever know what had happened, “he added.

[End Translation]

The belligerent ship, Chang Rong 4, is a Chinese fishing vessel registered to a Yu Liang Jang, according to the Western & Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.

The boat was struck around 11:30 AM, Thursday, roughly 100 miles off the coast of the Brazilian Fernando de Noronha archipelago.

The Brazilian Navy, through the communication advisory of the 3rd Naval District Command, in Natal, said it will comment on what happened in the days to come.

We will update this story as more facts come to light.

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