Windhoek, March 28- The Chinese Embassy in Namibia has reacted to allegation of the alleged vessels at the coast of Namibia which was allegedly believed to be fishing in the Namibian sea water. According to the embassy statement, the six Chinese fishing vessels departed from Equatorial Guinea to China on the 15 of March 2020 . Due to strong offshore waves, the boats choose to sail along the route near 23 degrees south latitude, which is 17 nautical miles from the Namibian coastline. At 2 am on March 27, the above mentioned 6 Chinese fishing vessels encountered two patrolling boats of Namibian navy. For the reason of safety, the Chinese fishing vessels were escorted to WALVIS BAY by the NDF navy. On March 28, the competent authorities of Namibian fisheries, health, navy and police have jointly boarded the Chinese boats for inspections and provided necessary assistance to the Chinese crew.
The Embassy noticed that some social media’s allegations of Chinese fishing vessels stealing fish from Namibian waters. We hereby solemnly state that the vessels were executing innocent navigation in Namibian waters without any wrongful acts like fish poaching (The continuous Computer records of the fishing boats sailing route and the inspection result got by the competent Namibian authority can be used as proof). In accordance with UN Convention on the Law of Sea, foreign fishing boats enjoy the rights of innocent passage and freedom of navigation.
The Chinese Embassy thanks the Namibian navy for the humanitarian assistance it bestowed to the Chinese fishing vessels. We are in close communication with relevant Namibian authorities to ensure that the Chinese fishing vessels will return to China as soon as possible.