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Taiwanese fishing ship detained for suspected poaching in Philippines

Taiwanese fishing ship detained for suspected poaching in Philippines

Taipei, May 7 (CNA) Philippine authorities announced Thursday that the Taiwanese fishing vessel Sheng Feng No. 12 (??12?) and its crew of six have been detained for suspected poaching in its territorial waters. A patrol ship had spotted Sheng Feng No. 12 at 5:20 a.m., while it was sailing 6.5 nautical miles off the coast of the island province of Batanes, according to preliminary findings published by the Philippine's Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. As the Taiwanese vessel was found residing within the Philippines' territorial waters, Sheng Feng No. 12 was boarded and probed by fishery bureau officials. The boat's captain, surnamed Hung (?), and the ship's engineer, surnamed Huang (?), and four Indonesian workers were detained. Hung relayed through the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines that his ship was merely passing through the waters while searching for a good place to cast its nets, and was not poaching. Philippine laws dictate that all foreign fishing vessels found within its territorial waters are considered to be suspect poachers. Offenders face administrative fines ranging from US$50,000 to US$200,000. In addition to having their hauls, equipment and vessels seized, offenders will face additional fines of US$100,000 if found guilty by a Philippine court. As of 1:30 p.m., the Taiwanese ship was reportedly towed to Basco, the capital of Batanes, Philippine's northernmost province, for further questioning. Philippine authorities said that no "untoward incidents" had occurred during the boarding and detainment of Sheng Feng No. 12. Due to spotty radio communication, the Philippine Coast Guard said that they have yet to establish contact with the Province of Batanes, and could not provide further details on the matter. (By Emerson T. Lin and Ted Chen)


Updated : 2021-09-28 04:17 GMT+08:00