November 22nd, 2017
Hong Long Fisheries, Lda received a license in November 2016 from the Ministry of Fishing and Agriculture, allowing the company to fish in the ocean of Timor-Leste’s south coast. This business’ presence provoked controversy throughout 2017, particularly because it caught shark species protected under Timorese law. In the wake of the anger these infractions caused, Hong Long Fisheries received greater scrutiny from Timorese society, revealing previously unknown facts about the company.
This report has documented key findings that can help policymakers and civil society members take a more informed approach to this company’s sinister presence in Timor-Leste’s territorial waters. Hong Long Fisheries is not just involved in catching protected species. This company—together with its parent firm, Pingtan Marine Enterprise—has a long history of criminal activity in the nations in which it operates.These crimes include investment fraud and human trafficking.
Despite Hong Long Fisheries’ criminal background, the Ministry of Fishing and Agriculture did not investigate this company before hurriedly granting it a fishing license. In addition, while Hong Long Fisheries’s hips have the status of foreign fishing vessels, its license from the Ministry of Fishing and Agriculture names the company’s owner as a Timorese citizen. This dubious claim highlights the lack of transparency that has allowed a criminal enterprise to extend its reach into Timor-Leste.
This report explores these findings in detail. To learn more about this issue, please see below: