Sun, Mar 03, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Taipei, Manila agree on fishery inspections

Staff writer, with CNA

Taipei and Manila have agreed to share information on fishery inspections and improve management of the Port of Davao in the Philippines, where Taiwanese fishing vessels unload, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Friday.

The result was achieved at the fifth Fisheries Technical Working Group meeting between Taiwan and the Philippines in Quezon City, Metro Manila, on Tuesday and Wednesday, the ministry said in a statement.

The two sides reached a consensus on law enforcement cooperation in fisheries, the ministry said.

The cooperation would involve improving mutual notification mechanisms, sharing fishing vesel inspection information, providing assistance regarding fisheries development, exchanging aquaculture and hatching technologies, reducing post-harvest fish losses and updating notification mechanisms under the bilateral Agreement Concerning the Facilitation of Cooperation on Law Enforcement in Fisheries Matters, it said.

The two sides also agreed to share information on Port of Davao fishery inspections to deter illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, it said.

Taipei and Manila agreed to improve management of the port through bilateral cooperation, providing a better environment for Taiwanese fishing vessels to unload their catches and protecting their operating rights, the ministry said.

Taiwan agreed to welcome Philippine delegations to meetings on exchange of aquaculture technologies, post-harvest fish loss studies and fish disease control, it said.

On the issue of law enforcement in contiguous zones, the ministry said that in adherence to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, Taiwan firmly reiterated that in areas within its exclusive economic zone, Taipei has the right to protect Taiwanese fishers, and urged the Philippines not to illegally seize Taiwanese fishing vessels.

Although the Philippines did not make any undertaking, they now understand Taiwan’s position on these issues, the ministry said.

To protect fishers from both sides, Taipei and Manila would hold consultations to continue in-depth dialogue, forge consensus and take measures to mitigate conflict, it said.

As close neighbors, fisheries cooperation is an important foundation on which to bolster bilateral relations, it said, adding that it hopes to sustain Taiwan-Philippines fishery cooperation in line with the Cabinet’s New Southbound Policy.

The Philippines welcomed Taiwan’s clarifications of its position, and hopes that both sides can resolve differences, and create more space for mutual benefit and reciprocity, the ministry said.

The meeting was cochaired by Deputy Representative to the Philippines James Chu (朱曦) and Manila Economic and Cultural Office Vice Chairman Gilberto Lauengco.

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