SOUTH KOREA - The United States has removed South Korea from its preliminary list of illegal fishing countries.
"The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has published its final report that said it was removing its preliminary designation of (South Korea) as an illegal fishing nation," the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said in a press release.
South Korea was put on the list that names nations for illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in 2013, reports YonhapNewsAgency.
The European Union has also designated South Korea as an IUU country and is expected to publish its final list soon.
The ministry hopes the European Union will follow suit.
South Korea has taken a series of measures aimed at curbing pirate fishing by its vessels in far seas after the designations.
Under a 2013 revision to the law on deep sea fishing, the maximum fine for IUU fishing was raised to 200 million won ($183,570) from 30 million won. Those convicted are now subject to a fine of up to three times the value of their catch.
The ministry said it seeks to further increase the minimum fine to 500 million won.
To discourage illegal fishing, the government has required all deep sea fishing boats to be equipped with a GPS-based tracking device.
"While praising the series of efforts the country has taken so far to eradicate illegal fishing in high seas, the United States also noted the country has taken adequate measures to eradicate illegal fishing especially in the Antarctic," the ministry said.
"The US canceling its preliminary designation of the country as an illegal fishing nation is the result of close cooperation between the related organizations, including the foreign ministry and the fishing industry," it said.
"The government will do its utmost to make sure the country will be removed from the EU list."
Read more on this topic:
- EU to Ban Sri Lankan Fish Following Inaction on Illegal Fishing
- South Korea Intensifies Penalties Against Illegal Fishing
TheFishSite News Desk