The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) yesterday announced a crackdown on encroaching Chinese fishing boats and sand dredgers in an effort to protect Taiwan’s fishing industry and depleting fish stocks.
The sweeps began simultaneously in CGA harbors in Keelung, Greater Taichung, Greater Kaohsiung, Kinmen County and Penghu County yesterday morning.
Coast Guard Administration Deputy Minister Yu Ming-hsi (尤明錫), attending a Greater Taichung ceremony, said the use of electric shock fishing, poison fishing and blast fishing by foreign vessels in Taiwan’s waters has proliferated.
CGA radars, ships, cutters and helicopters are to join the sweeps of foreign vessels straying into the nation’s waters, which are to be expelled immediately and their property and catches seized.
The CGA said Chinese fishing boats were the biggest intruders.
In Kinmen yesterday, Lee Mao-jung (李茂榮), director of the agency’s Maritime Patrol Directorate-General, said Chinese vessels have frequently been caught entering Kinmen-controlled waters.
Lee said the Kinmen coast guard performed “brilliantly” last year, but added that there is still room for improvement.
He said Kinmen coast guard personnel handed over 502 Chinese fishing crews for questioning last year, with 89 paying a total of NT$6.55 million (US$218,080) in fines. Five Chinese sand dredgers were briefly detained, but released after paying fines.
Additional reporting by CNA