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January 25, 2013

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Seafood from Diaoyu Islands to be sold in city

LOCAL residents will be able to taste several kinds of deep-sea fish caught from the waters off China's Diaoyu Islands, after 4,000 kilograms of the fish were transported to Shanghai yesterday.

The fishing boats that came back from the fishing grounds around the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea docked at Xiangshan Harbor in neighboring Zhejiang Province at 3am yesterday.

Fishers in Xiangshan said they had a bountiful catch, including tuna, cuttlefish, mackerel and green horse-faced puffer, also known as the rubber fish.

The fishing boats worked under the protection of China's coast guard vessels and fishery administrative vessels patrolling in the area. China insists that the islands are part of its inherent territory.

The 4,000 kilograms of fish will be for sale during a food exhibition which starts tomorrow at Shanghai Everbright Convention and Exhibition Center on Caobao Road.

The fishers will also come to Shanghai and sell the fish themselves at the exhibition.

"It has been a long time since fishermen in Xiangshan started to fish near the Diaoyu Islands," said Du Zaisheng, a 41-year-old fisherman.

Encouraged by fishery authorities, more fishing boats went to work in waters off the Diaoyu Island than before, Du said.

"In the past, our boats fished in waters about 100 sea miles away from the Diaoyu Islands. But now our fishing grounds have been extended to 60 to 80 sea miles off the island," Du said.

Due to the rich fishing grounds around the Diaoyu Islands, each boat can earn around 700,000 yuan (US$112,560) for each trip. The income of the fishers also doubled compared with similar trips in waters near the shore of China's mainland, according to Du.

The rubber fish was a popular dish on the dinner tables of Shanghai residents in the 1950s.

It has regained its popularity among food lovers in recent years as it lives in less-polluted deep sea waters, said Jiang Li, a local gourmet.

Relations between Japan and China have soured since the Japanese government said it would "purchase" part of the Diaoyu Islands in 2012.


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