TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- On Sunday (May 12), two Chinese fishing boats, the Qianlian yu (閩連漁) No. 2016 and an unmarked vessel, trespassed in the waters near Taiwan’s Matsu Islands, of Lienchang County (連江縣) and were seized by the Coast Guard.
The first ship was caught illegally fishing in the morning, and the second seized later Sunday evening.
Currently China is enforcing a regular moratorium on fishing in its territorial waters nearby to allow fisheries to replenish. This will typically prompt some Chinese fishing boats to attempt to poach from Taiwan’s exclusive fisheries instead.
The first vessel, Qianlian yu (閩連漁) No. 2016, was spotted by the Matsu Coast Guard shortly before 8:00 a.m. at 2.1 km from the eastern island of Juguang Township (莒光鄉).
The second vessel was caught in the same area around 5:00 p.m. It had obscured any markers identifying the ship’s name or company and was casting nets when it was spotted, reports CNA.
When confronted by the Coast Guard, the ship cut its fishing nets and attempted to flee, but it was atill seized by authorities using the Coast Guard’s speed boats.
Both ships have been impounded. Following an investigation, their owners will be forced to pay a fine, yet to be determined, in order to retrieve the boats.
Coast Guard officers seizing the unmarked vessel (CNA Photo)