Korean Government to Regulate on Illegal Chinese Fishermen

kpopluv, Nov. 21, 2014, 9:23 a.m.

The government has pledged to crack down harder on the growing fleets of Chinese trawlers that fish illegally in Korean waters. The plan is to dispatch teams of gunboats, helicopters and commandoes to intercept Chinese fishermen, who are often armed and dangerous.  Their trawlers could then be seized and scrapped. 

The measures were decided in a policy meeting on Thursday chaired by Prime Minister Chung Hong-won. "Illegal Chinese fishing is hurting the haul of Korean fishermen and damaging their fishing gear, as well as threatening the lives of coast guards," Chung said.

Each team will consist of a 5,000-ton warship and three 3,000-ton patrol boats to be deployed by 2016. The number of patrol boats will increase from the present 34 to 50, and amphibious aircraft will also be deployed.

The government will also set up a vessel identification system by 2017 that will enable maritime police to scan fishing boats from afar to check whether they have permission to fish in Korean waters. 

Chinese fishing boats without permits from both Seoul and Beijing to fish in Korean waters under a quota agreed between the two countries could be seized and scrapped, pending negotiations with the Chinese government.  Seoul and Beijing have also agreed to allow patrol boats from both sides to operate in an area of the West Sea under joint control by both countries, and to increase the frequency of such expeditions to two or three times a year. 

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