Seoul to Crackdown on Illegal Fishing in Yellow Sea22 January 2013
SOUTH KOREA - The South Korean government said Sunday it will beef up crackdowns on illegal fishing by Chinese in South Korean waters with increased patrols and harsher punishment.
The Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries will dispatch 16 national patrol ships to the Yellow Sea during the fishing seasons of January-April and October-December, when many Chinese fishing boats flood across the South Korean sea border to catch full-grown crabs and croakers, reports YonhapNewsAgency.
The illegal fishing crackdowns will be conducted by groups of two to three vessels to combat violence by Chinese fishermen, the ministry said.
It also said it will inject 20 billion won (US$18.9 million) this year into building a 1,000 ton patrol ship and buying four speed boats in order to strengthen its crackdown campaigns.
The ministry said those caught fishing illegally will face up to 200 million won in fines and confiscation of their catch and fishing equipment.
South Korea and China have been in talks to discuss ways to prevent illegal fishing as illegal fishing by Chinese in the Yellow Sea has long been a serious issue between the two neighboring countries.
South Korea has asked China to come up with tougher measures to prevent illegal fishing but there are still a number of Chinese boats caught within South Korea's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) each year.
A total of 467 Chinese boats were arrested for illegal fishing by the South Korea authorities last year, according to ministry data.
TheFishSite News Desk