Tuesday, 18 October 2016

PacAndes - Big Business in Fish Farms - Obfuscating Interbusiness Ownership.

The following quote is a brief part of a much longer piece on the plundering of the world's forage fish, for example, Jack Mackerel off Chile to make fish feed for famed Atlantic salmon.

Pac Andes is in bankruptcy in 2016, pretty much all over the world.

See: https://www.publicintegrity.org/node/7900/.

This is a 2012 article, but is so good on the issue of fish farms being big businesses and not about 'jobs and revenue' the spin it gives to governments all around the world to manipulate them. These companies make money for shareholders, their only responsibility.

See also my Bad News Bites post and cruise the bold facing for a minute. You'll probably be shocked: http://fishfarmnews.blogspot.ca/2016/07/news-bites-farmed-salmonseafood.html.


"Inside PacAndes

PacAndes is the proverbial puzzle within an enigma. Its 50,000 gross ton flagship, the Lafayette, is registered to Investment Company Kredo in Moscow and flies a Russian flag. Kredo — via four other subsidiaries — belongs to China Fishery Group in Singapore, which, in turn, is registered in the Cayman Islands.

China Fishery and Pacific Andes Resources Development belong to Pacific Andes International Holdings, based in Hong Kong but under yet another holding company registered in Bermuda.

PacAndes, which is publicly traded on the Hong Kong stock exchange, reports more than 100 subsidiaries under its various branches, but a partly impenetrable global network includes many more affiliates.

One of its major investors is the U.S.-based Carlyle Group, which purchased $150 million in shares in 2010.

China Fishery Group reported a 2011 revenue gain of 27.2 percent to $685.5 million from $538.9 million, 55 percent of PacAndes’ earnings. The company attributed it to stronger operations from the South Pacific fleet and the Peruvian fishmeal operations.

Ng Joo Siang, 52, a jovial Louisiana State University graduate who is hooked on golf, runs PacAndes like the family business it is despite its public listing.

His Malaysian Chinese father moved the family to Hong Kong and started a seafood business in 1986. When the executive board meets in its no-frills conference room overlooking the harbor, his portrait gazes down at his widow, who is chairwoman, his three sons and a daughter.

“My father told me the oceans were limitless,” Ng said in an interview, “but that was a false signal. We don’t want to damage the resources, to be blamed for damage. I don’t think our shareholders would like it. I don’t think our children would like it very much.”

But he ruefully acknowledges that PacAndes faces a serious public relations challenge. In 2002, a company affiliated with PacAndes was accused of illegal fishing in the Antarctic. Ng denies any wrongdoing or connection with the suspect boats, but his critics are harsh.

Back then, New Zealand diplomats told ICIJ, a Russian lawyer working for the company allegedly threatened an Auckland fisheries executive by showing him pictures of his family.

Asked to comment, Ng said that did not happen, and he dismissed it as yet another smear by people who resent PacAndes’ success.

Bent on forging a better image, Ng hired a new corporate social responsibility officer and says he wants to put scientists aboard his ships to help protect fish stocks.

But he snorted when asked about the SPRFMO recommended limit of 520,000 metric tons for jack mackerel. “Based on what, on this?” he replied, thrusting a moistened finger into the air as if checking the wind.

“There is no science,” he said. “The SPRFMO has no science. How much money has Vanuatu or Chile or whoever put in to understand about fisheries?”

Chile, in fact, spent $10.5 million in 2011 on Ifop, its highly regarded scientific institute — one-fourth of its fisheries budget. In the intrigues of fish politics, PacAndes sides with Peru, where it operates 32 vessels and has a share of the anchoveta quota, another species used for fishmeal.

Ng says the Lafayette flies a Russian flag because it perfected an old Soviet idea: a mother ship that stays put, sucking in fish to process from a fleet of catcher vessels.

Industry experts suspect another reason is the opaque manner in which official Russian business is done.

The Lafayette cannot fish, Ng said, but can pair trawl: hold one end of a net attached to another ship, which hauls in the catch. A French inspection in Tahiti in January 2010 found no fishing equipment on board.

This point is at the heart of fresh controversy within the fledgling SPRFMO.

The organization now sets new voluntary quotas based on the 2010 catch. But in that year both Russia and Peru claimed what seem clearly to be the same 40,000 metric tons.

The Russians say the Lafayette was fishing, and it flies their flag. The Peruvians say the trawlers that actually caught the fish were under their colors."

This long quote, something I rarely do, let's you know of what the rest of us consider fraudulent, illegal fishing practices by some of the biggest companies in the world. My Bad News Bites post follows the on-going train-wreck of PacAndes in bankruptcy in 2016.

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