Fishermen urged to observe accepted fishery guidlines
Central News Agency
2014-05-02 11:00 PM
Taipei, May 2 (CNA) Taiwan's Fisheries Agency on Friday urged local fishermen to observe the guidelines established by a fishery agreement signed by Taiwan and Japan in April 2013, or face penalties that could ultimately cost them their fishing licenses. Fishermen should turn on their vessel monitoring systems and apply for permits when operating in the waters open to Taiwanese fishermen outlined in the agreement, the agency said in a statement after a Taiwanese fishing boat violated the rules on April 30. The fishing boat, the Taichung-registered Chuan Chi Ching No. 326, sailed eight nautical miles beyond the acceptable fishing grounds for Taiwanese fishermen agreed upon by Taiwan and Japan, according to the Fisheries Agency. A Taiwanese coast guard vessel went to the rescue of the Taiwanese fishing boat, which had been chased by a Japanese Fisheries Agency vessel for about an hour, and eventually escorted it back to Taiwan. The agency told CNA that after investigating the incident, it has suspended the licenses of both the captain and the boat, but final penalties have yet to be determined. It could be a huge loss for the captain because right now is the high point of the fishing season, according to the agency. Since Taiwan signed the fishery agreement with Japan in April 2013, six Taiwanese fishing boats have been detained and fined 3 million (US$29,282) to 4 million yen each by Japanese authorities.

Two others, including the vessel involved in the latest incident, were also found to have broken the rules but were not caught by Japanese authorities, the agency said. (By James Lee)

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