The Fisheries Agency has reiterated that it plans to increase penalties for illegal fishing, amid concerns about a warning from the EU and the threat of possibile sanctions.
“The agency will revise the Fisheries Act (漁業法) to step up penalties,” Fisheries Agency Deputy Director-General Tsay Tzu-yaw (蔡日曜) said, adding that it also wants to increase its inspection personnel.
“The agency will complete communications and negotiations with the EU before the six-month deadline given for improvement, in the hope that Taiwan can be removed from the ‘yellow card’ list,” he said.
The EU issued a “yellow card” to Taiwan on Oct. 1, warning that it risks being identified as an uncooperative nation in the fight against “illegal, unreported and unregulated [IUU]” fishing.
It said there were “serious shortcomings in the fisheries legal framework, a system of sanctions that does not deter IUU fishing and lack of effective monitoring, control and surveillance of the long-distance fleet.”
The EU thinks that Taiwan’s fines for illegal fishing are too low compared with those imposed in Japan and South Korea, Tsay said.
At the core of the warning is a Taiwanese fishing vessel, the Shuen De Ching No. 888, which was caught with illegally harvested shark fins near Papua New Guinea in early September. The ship was fined NT$150,000 and its catch was confiscated.
The EU could consider trade sanctions on fishery imports from Taiwan if the identified shortcomings are not addressed.
President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration is seeking to join an Indo-Pacific economic framework being planned by the US, a senior official said. The government is paying close attention to the regional economic pact being touted by US President Joe Biden, although too few details have emerged from Washington for Taipei to make specific plans, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The US is expected to launch the Indo-Pacific economic framework next month after negotiations with Australia, India and Japan, the official said. The economic initiative is to tackle trade facilitation, standards for the digital economy and technology, supply-chain resiliency and
‘NEW YEAR GIFT’: While the MAC called the song propaganda, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said that it addressed the homesickness of ‘Taiwanese compatriots’ A pro-unification pop song aired on Chinese television earlier this month would only further sour Taiwanese sentiment toward China, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said on Wednesday. The music video for We Sing the Same Song (我們同唱一首歌), which aired on China Central Television, features Chinese artists performing alongside Taiwanese singers Jam Hsiao (蕭敬騰), Ouyang Nana (歐陽娜娜) and Chen Li-nong (陳立農). The lyrics were reportedly written by Taiwanese lyricist Vincent Fang (方文山), known for his collaborations with Jay Chou (周杰倫), to music composed by a Chinese musician. Sung in Chinese and Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese), the song is about three Taiwanese siblings who
RULES TIGHTENED: Passengers arriving from Sydney and Los Angeles tested positive for COVID-19, while passengers arriving from Seattle all tested negative Seventeen of the 217 passengers who arrived on long-haul at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport yesterday morning tested positive for COVID-19, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said, adding that the positivity rate was higher than expected. Yesterday was the first day that the government enforced stricter health guidelines for the testing of passengers arriving on long-haul flights. They must undergo a polymerase chain reaction test immediately after arriving at the nation’s international airports. Those who test positive are sent directly to hospitals to avoid spreading the virus to people working in and around the airports and at quarantine hotels. Victor Wang (王必勝),
SEPARATE CASE? A woman tested positive when she went with her daughter to be tested, because her daughter had taken the same bus to school as a steakhouse worker The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 10 local COVID-19 cases, six of whom had visited a steakhouse in Taoyuan where an infection cluster has been reported. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that of the 10 local infections, one case — No. 17,928 — is a Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport disease prevention staffer who works in the area where inbound travelers collect their saliva for a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, and sometimes at the fever screening station. The staffer had tested negative in a PCR test on Jan. 9 and