Chinese Vessels Are Seized for Illegal Activity in Friendly Waters

( — South Korean officials said on Tuesday that the Coast Guard seized five Chinese fishing vessels that were operating illegally in Korean waters, the Korea Times reported.

The fishing boats were operating off the west and southern coasts of South Korea and were seized as part of a joint crackdown on illegal fishing by the Korean Coast Guard, Navy, and officials from the fisheries ministry. The boats were operating near South Korea’s western sea border and its exclusive economic zone surrounding the island of Jeju in the south between March 25 and March 31.

One of the captains was arrested and five members of his crew were expelled. The other 58 crew members aboard the fishing boats were evicted, officials said.

During the joint crackdown, North Korea caught Chinese fishermen in small rubber boats violating its Northern Limit Line, the maritime border between North and South Korea in the Yellow Sea. Other Chinese fishing vessels were cited for underreporting the number of fish caught.

One Chinese vessel caught off the island of Jeju was using 31 illegal fishing nets designed to capture even the smallest fish.

Since the joint crackdown began, the number of illegal Chinese fishing vessels detected dropped from an average of 300 to only 140 ships a day.

A Coast Guard official said South Korea would continue to “sternly clamp down” on illegal fishing operations and said the Coast Guard would deploy additional 500-ton vessels along the Northern Limit Line to patrol the area.

Illegal fishing by Chinese vessels has been a problem throughout the region, especially in the disputed areas of the South China Sea, which China has claimed as its territory.

In October, the Canadian government agreed to provide the Philippines with assistance in detecting illegal fishing operations using Canada’s satellite surveillance system. The Philippine Coast Guard accused Chinese vessels of shutting down location-transmitting devices to avoid detection while illegally fishing along the Philippine archipelago.

Under the arrangement, the Philippines have access to data collected from Canada’s “Dark Vessel Detection System” that can track vessels even when location-transmitting devices are turned off.

Copyright 2024,