Mon, Oct 21, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Philippine fishery meeting to be held ‘soon,’ sources say

Staff writer, with CNA

Taipei and Manila will hold a delayed fishery meeting soon and will discuss how to implement proposals made at a previous meeting in June on maintaining order in their overlapping exclusive economic zones, sources said.

The meeting could be upgraded from “preparatory” talks to “formal” talks and will highlight law enforcement cooperation between Taiwan and the Philippines, a diplomatic source said on condition of anonymity.

The two countries had agreed to hold a second meeting on Sept. 16, but it was delayed because of continued fighting between Muslim rebels and government forces in the southern Philippines, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Ministry spokesperson Anna Kao (高安) declined to comment on the scheduling of the talks and said the ministry will reveal details when the time is right.

A first round of fishery talks was held on June 14 in response to an attack by Philippine Coast Guard personnel on a Taiwanese fishing boat on May 9 in the two countries’ overlapping exclusive economic zone.

The attack left a 65-year-old Taiwanese fisherman dead and triggered a diplomatic standoff between the two countries that lasted into early August.

At the first meeting, the two sides reached an initial consensus that there should be no use of force or violence during patrols of fishing grounds and that a mechanism should be established to inform each other of any fishery-related incidents.

The mechanism will expedite notification of maritime chases, the boarding and inspection of fishing boats by either side, and the arrest and detention of fishermen.

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