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Taiwan fishing vessel seized by Philippines for illegal poaching

Taiwan fishing vessel seized by Philippines for illegal poaching

The Pingtung County, Liuchiu-registered fishing vessel Shen Fong 12 was seized by Philippine authorities after veering 6.5 nautical miles off the coast of the Philippines, reports said Thursday.

According to the Liuchiu District Fisheries Association, the vessel left Taiwan yesterday morning at 9:25 and was subsequently captured together with six crew members, of which two are Taiwanese. However, nationalities of the remaining crew have yet to be identified. They are currently been placed under custody in Batanes Island in the Philippines.

“The latest information tell us that Philippine authorities claim Shen Fong 12 was seized for poaching illegally near their waters,” said Tsai Bao-hsin, director of the association.

The vessel’s captain Hong Tien-ting claimed they weren’t operating at the time of capture but were only passing through, according to Tsai, who spoke with the captain over the telephone.

Meanwhile, it’s been nearly two years since the diplomatic spat triggered by the shooting death of a 65-year-old crew member of a Taiwanese fishing boat in 2013 by a Filipino coastguard patrol.

The two countries have since repaired the rift after Filipino authorities recommended homicide charges against the coastguards following pressure from Taiwan.

The association has asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to assist in the matter, adding that they will request the immediate release of the fishing vessel should they be found innocent.

Updated : 2021-09-20 17:32 GMT+08:00