Chinese ships fishing illegally near Taiwan’s Penghu islands

Coast Guard to send ships from main island to chase the Chinese trawlers away

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More than 20 Chinese fishing trawlers have gathered around Penghu.

More than 20 Chinese fishing trawlers have gathered around Penghu. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Penghu wanted the coast guard to remove more than 20 Chinese fishing trawlers which entered its area, reports said Saturday.

In theory, the ships had been seeking shelter from strong winds and stormy weather which had made most shipping in the area impossible, but locals feared that their nets would damage local aquatic life and coral formations, the Central News Agency reported.

The Penghu County Government said it was contacting China to restrain its fishermen from crossing the line, while it had warned the coast guard to act against the trawlers.

The coast guard was planning to send 3,000-ton vessels from Kaohsiung or Tainan to chase the Chinese ships away, according to CNA.

As northeasterly winds increased in strength since December 27, most sea traffic in the area was suspended, including ferries between the islands and to Taiwan’s main island.