Thirty Chinese fishing vessels on Monday set off from a harbor in the country's southernmost province of Hainan for the Nansha Islands in the South China Sea.
The fishing ships, each with a capacity exceeding 100 tonnes, will stay around the Nansha Islands for 40 days. The vessels, equipped with all-weather communication devices, will be under unified command.
A supply ship and transport vessel will be accompanying the fishing fleet.
"We are exploring ways to exploit high-seas resources in systematic manners," said Huang Wenhui, who heads the fishing office in the Department of Ocean and Fisheries of Hainan Province.
Thirty fishing vessels were sent to the islands in July.
The ultimate goal of the operation is to develop a business model that allows fishermen to catch fish around the Nansha Islands on a regular basis, Huang added.