Sun, Jun 21, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Chinese fishermen arrested off Kinmen hit by revised fine

FIRST SERVED:A change to the act overseeing such infractions means that the fishermen have received a higher penalty than if they had been fined last month

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Two Chinese fishermen picked up on Friday by the Coast Guard Administration for allegedly fishing illegally in waters off Kinmen County have been fined NT$300,000, a higher amount than would have been usually issued for similar infractions prior to a change in the law implemented earlier this month.

Coast guard officials said that a Chinese vessel was apprehended on Friday near Beiding Islet (北碇島), east of Kinmen, and the fishermen, who said they came from Quanzhou in China’s Fujian Province, were arrested.

Huang Jui-yuan (黃瑞原), captain of the coast guard’s Offshore Flotilla No. 9, which is in charge of patrolling territorial waters around Kinmen County, said that this is the first case in which the heavier penalty has been levied since the amended Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (台灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例) took effect on Monday.

Provisions in the amendment allow the imposition of fines ranging from NT$300,000 to NT$10 million (US$321,900) on Chinese vessels discovered in restricted maritime areas of Taiwan.

The previous act allowed for fines of between NT$50,000 and NT$500,000.


Huang said his unit became aware of an unidentified vessel entering waters near Beiding Islet at about 6am on Friday, and two patrol boats, the PP-2007 and the PP-2066, were dispatched to the scene.

The two coast guard vessels arrived to find a boat with a powerful outboard motor, and the coast guard officers went aboard to question the crew.

The two fishermen and their boat were then taken to Kinmen’s Liaoluo Bay (料羅灣), where the coast guard flotilla is based, for further questioning.

The elder of the two Chinese fishermen, who steered the boat, is a 44-year-old man surnamed Zheng (鄭).

He admitted entering waters near Beiding Islet to fish for groupers, to sell at a local fish market in Quanzhou, Huang said.

Chinese boats violating the nation’s maritime sovereignty had led to violent incidents with local fishermen, such as boat ramming, and the heavier penalties should deter such intrusions, Huang said.

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