The Kuang Ta Hsing No. 28 displaces only 15 tonnes, much too small to threaten an armed Philippine coast guard ship, Tsai said.
The Fisheries Agency said it has looked at data on the Kuang Ta Hsing No. 28’s movements and said it potentially shows that the Philippine government may be lying.
The Coast Guard Administration said Manila should provide video footage to back up claims that the Kuang Ta Hsing No. 28 initiated the conflict.
The Coast Guard Administration added it originally intended to use data from Kuang Ta Hsing No. 28’s voyage data recorder (VDR) — the equivalent of an aircraft’s black box — for investigation, but said that because the ship did not have a VDR system or a vessel monitoring system (VMS), the situation may deteriorate into a “he said, she said” scenario.
Coast Guard Administration officials added that even if a fishing vessel attempted to ram a ship in a foreign nation’s territorial waters, maritime authorities would only be justified in trying to forcibly board the ship for an inspection.
That the Philippine government was seeking to justify shooting at unarmed civilians was beyond belief, officials said.
According to the officials, the Taiwanese fishing boat only had a cargo of mahi mahi and albacore totaling 380kg.
Hung Shih-cheng was a seasoned fisherman who enjoyed some fame in Siaoliouciou (小琉球) for catching a 7m squid with his son-in-law while working on another ship in December 2006.
Additional reporting by Chiu Chun-fu, Wu Po-hsuan and CNA