The US has imposed financial sanctions on two big Chinese fishing fleet companies, including one listed on Nasdaq, that it has accused of engaging in illegal fishing and human rights abuses, reports the Financial Times. The US Treasury on Friday put sanctions on Pingtan Marine Enterprise, a Cayman Islands-registered Chinese company listed on the Nasdaq exchange, and Dalian Ocean Fishing. It also targeted two individuals—Li Zhenyu and Zhuo Xinrong—whom Treasury said controlled fishing fleet networks that included the two companies.
“These designations demonstrate how seriously we take the problem of illicit fishing and our commitment to holding the perpetrators of serious human rights abuses to account,” said Brian Nelson, a top Treasury official, who added that the practices “harm the economic prospects of local populations in the Indo-Pacific”.
The moves marked the first time Washington has put “Global Magnitsky” sanctions on a company listed on Nasdaq. The action freezes any US-based assets of the companies and individuals, but it gives US investors 90 days to unwind any financial holdings in the entities.