Fishing boats detained in South Korea

By Liu Yunlong Source:Global Times Published: 2013-10-9 1:23:01

The Chinese consulate general in Kwangju Tuesday requested the South Korean side conduct a fair investigation and inform the consulate in a timely manner for the two Chinese fishing boats suspected of illegally fishing in South Korean waters.

Dai Minkai, a consulate official, said that they had sent officials to visit two fishermen who were injured and confirmed that they are safe.

The boat owners might face criminal charges, and the boats are berthed at the port of Mokpo, with 24 detained on them.

The Yonhap News Agency Monday reported that South Korean coast guards caught two Chinese boats suspected of illegally fishing in South Korean waters. Four South Korean marine police officers were injured when they attempted to intercept the fishing boats.

South Korea is considering expressing regret to China over a violent incident in which local coast guard officers were hurt while cracking down on illegal Chinese fishing, a government official said Tuesday, according to the Yonhap News Agency.

The two fishing boats were suspected of illegal fishing in South Korean waters near Xinan county in Jeollanam-do at 6:35 am and 8:19 am local time respectively, the Yonhap News agency cited the coast guard in Mokpo as saying.

All the injured were sent to hospital and are in a stable condition, the coast guard official said.

The detained ships are the 120-ton Luying-yu No.51189 and Luying-yu No.51190, according to reports.

South Korean officials had informed the Chinese consulate of this issue on Monday and the Chinese consulate is still communicating with the coast guard to verify the details, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

Cui Zhiying, director of the Korean Peninsula Research Center at the Shanghai-based Tongji University, told the Global Times that the maritime border between China and South Korea in the Yellow Sea has not been settled yet with large areas of exclusive economic zones overlapping.

"The vague border let Chinese fishermen feel easy to enter into the waters of the South Korean side," said Cui, adding that Chinese fishermen are forced to sail further for fishing because the fish population of coastal waters is becoming smaller and smaller.

He noted that it would be the best for both sides to remain restrained on the incident and seek a cooperation mechanism to solve the illegal fishing problem in the future.

The Mokpo coast guard has arrested 77 Chinese "illegal fishing boats" and these boats had paid around 4 billion won ($3.8 million) in release fees this year, according to South Korean reports.

Agencies contributed to this story

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