Wed, Aug 11, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Taiwanese boat seized by Japan for fishing EEZ

DISPUTED WATERSThe vessel will be released after paying a fine, but questions remain concerning Japan and Taiwan’s borders in the area around the Diaoyutais

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

A Taiwanese fishing boat was detained by Japanese authorities on Monday for fishing in its Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ) but will soon be released after it agreed to pay a fine, an official said.

The owner of the fishing boat agreed to pay a ¥4 million (US$46,900) fine for fishing in Japan’s EEZ, Chen Tyau-her (陳調和), secretary-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ East Asian Relations Commission said yesterday.

The Shun Fu Yu No. 68 was seized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan in waters deemed by Japanese authorities to be beyond the temporary enforcement line of Taiwan’s EEZ, Chen said.

Chen said Japanese authorities agreed to release the boat after the Suao Agriculture Association had guaranteed that the fishing company would pay the fine without taking the case to court.

The ministry negotiated with the Japanese Coast Guard to reach an agreement, slashing the time needed to settle the case and allow the fishermen to return home, Chen said.

Saying that there have been other incidents of Taiwanese vessels fishing illegally in the disputed waters surrounding the Diaoyutai (釣魚台) Archipelago, Chen said the ministry would work with the Fishery Agency to dissuade fishermen from fishing beyond the temporary enforcement line.

The Taiwanese government established the temporary enforcement line to provide a safe fishing area for Taiwanese fishermen, while Japan also delimited the “middle line” in the overlapping maritime area of the Diaoyutais.

The delimitation by Japan and Taiwan has yet to be accepted by either side.

Taiwan has held 16 rounds of negotiations with Japan on the matter, but the talks ground to a halt when it came to the Diaoyutais issue, Chen said.

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