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Two Chinese fishing boats at sea

Chinese fishermen have been catching lots of mini spy subs

Editor’s Note: The following article was published yesterday by the Chinese State media outlet Global Times. We are republishing it with only minor editing for clarity’s sake. It seems that China’s fishing fleet has been catching underwater spy drones (UUV) and handsomely rewarding the fishermen who find and turn them in.

Global Times, January 14, 2020

Eleven fishermen from East China were given rewards on Monday by a local government of Jiangsu Province after fishing out several underwater spying devices and turning them into the national security authorities in 2019.

National security authorities said seven devices made in other countries were found that had various espionage functions, posing a serious threat to China’s national security.

Some of the devices can collect information on hydrologic characteristics of the sea and map the seabed, and others can collect data on a ship’s sound print, which can be used for military purposes such as detecting submarine and ship movements and early warning detection, media reported.

The fishermen who received awards at a ceremony on Monday in Jiangsu’s Nantong were not identified. Some though have said that the prizes ranged from tens of thousands of yuan to 500,000 yuan ($72,700).

“They deserve all the credit and awards, as nothing is more important than our national security,” said a net user on China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo, jokingly saying he might take up fishing for a living and try to snag some of the devices.

Jiangsu has been giving such awards to fishers for three consecutive years. In 2018, nine devices used for espionage were found and 18 fishermen received rewards. 

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