GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) — A Chinese commercial fishing company is seeking to operate 30 vessels in Guyana over opposition from fishermen in the South American country.

Fuzhou Hongdong Pelagic Fishery Co. has submitted a proposal for permits to operate the 120-foot trawlers and drift netters, along with up to two auxiliary boats and storage and processing facilities on land. They are also requesting unspecified tax breaks for what they say would be an investment estimated at $70 million that would boost exports, according to a copy of the document obtained by The Associated Press.

Fisheries Minister Leslie Ramsammy said Monday that the government has requested additional information from the company and has not yet made a decision.

Guyana cut back its commercial fleet in 2012 to fewer than 100 vessels because of overfishing. The government said last year that revenue generated by the sector declined 6.5 percent over the previous 12 months after it stopped issuing commercial licenses.

The main commercial fishing organization in Guyana is lobbying against granting the permits, and the tax breaks, to the Chinese company, which would operate with larger boats than most local fishermen.

"We don't have any more space to accommodate anybody else in the fishing grounds as these are almost fully exploited," said Leslie Ramalho, past president of the Guyana Association of Trawler Owners and Seafood Processors.

He also said the proposal would allow "factory boats at sea" that the government would be unable to adequately monitor.

The Fuzhou Hongdong proposal says the company would use drift net, trawl and set nets for a test period of a year before phasing in full operations. The company said it hoped to establish and incorporate in Guyana by the end of December 2014. It said the operation would comply with regulations and would use turtle excluder devices to prevent ensnaring endangered sea turtles.

The fisheries minister declined to say what additional information the government was seeking though a decision was not expected until after parliamentary elections due in May.