Sun, Jul 03, 2005 - Page 3 News List

CGA to fend off intrustive Chinese fishing vessels

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Coast Guard yesterday said that they will continue to drive away Chinese fishing boats that enter Taiwan's fishing waters and economic zones, particularly those used for fishing cuttlefish.

"The coast guard's 1st and 16th divisions are responsible for the assignment [of driving away Chinese boats]," read a press release from the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) yesterday.

According to CGA officials, local fishermen in the waters off the coast of Keelung have reported that an increasing number of Chinese fishing boats are crossing the Taiwan Strait and illegally fishing in Taiwanese waters.

During the past few weeks, more and more Chinese fishing boats have intruded into the seas off northern Taiwan because it is prime season for cuttle fish in this area, and Chinese fishermen are trying to get a piece of the action.

According to several Taiwanese fishermen, the amount of cuttlefish they have caught this year is lower than average because Chinese vessels are illegally fishing in these waters.

The CGA said it has made necessary plans to evict the Chinese intruders and will remain vigilant in their duty of protecting the nation's territorial waters.

"Our ships have been patrolling the seas off Keelung, but there has been no sign of Chinese fishing vessels for the past couple of days," the CGA press release stated.

The CGA also said it is planning to establish a base in the Pengchiayu (彭佳嶼) islets, about 56km away from the northernmost tip of Taiwan, to provide additional protection for Taiwanese fishermen.

"When the construction of the base is completed, the coast guard will be able to deploy an additional number of patrol boats in the area more quickly," the press release stated.

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