China Overseas Fisheries Association (COFA) was established in Beijing on 29 May of 2012 and Mr. NIU Dun, Vice Minister of Ministry of Agriculture was the President of COFA at this time. COFA succeeds to OPRT membership of the Distant Water Fisheries Branch of China fisheries Association.
COFA was established in the need of the development of Chinese Overseas fisheries, with more than 1,600 vessels with various types of overseas fishing all over the world at present. COFA is to promote the sustainable and healthy development of China overseas fisheries and further promote international exchange and cooperation on overseas fisheries.
China in 2012 had 116 companies engaged in distant-water fisheries, and nearly 2,000 fishing vessels working overseas. China's agricultural ministry, which oversees fisheries, claims capacity on overseas fisheries still lags international peers: China's total annual catch from distant waters then was about 1.15 million MT, valued at USD 1.98 billion (EUR 1.46 billion), according to official figures. International environmental bodies and the EU have both claimed those figures are drastically underestimated.