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Taiwan's new fishery chief vows to restore offshore fishery resources

Taiwan's new fishery chief vows to restore offshore fishery resources
The new head of Taiwan's Fisheries Agency said Thursday that he will push for policies aimed at restoring fishery resources in the waters around Taiwan.

Chen Tain-shou, who assumed his duties as director- general of the Fisheries Agency that day, said the policies will also be aimed at bringing the country's long-distance fishing industry more into line with international regulations.

Speaking of his top priorities, Chen told CNA that he will focus on efforts to restore offshore fishery resources by educating local fishermen on the importance of conserving fishery resources before starting to catch fish, in order to address the issue of overfishing.

As part of this effort, he said, his agency will encourage local fishermen to avoid the use of gillnets in offshore waters in order to avoid excessive amounts of bycatch. He said he is also planning to push for the abolition of the use of this fishing method altogether, which harms so much marine life other than the target fish.

Another focus of his top priorities is to bring Taiwan's long-distance fishing industry more into line with international regulations and to join the global efforts to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, Chen said.

The former deputy head of the Fisheries Agency said he will also continue to communicate with representatives of the long-distance fishing industry and will make efforts to facilitate the passage of amendments to fisheries laws aimed at tightening regulations on the long-distance industry.