Fujian Coast Guard detains Taiwan fishing vessel for illegal fishing
Published: Jul 04, 2024 12:10 AM
The Fujian Coast Guard carried out regular law enforcement patrols in the waters near Kinmen on June 25, 2024.  Photo: website of China Coast Guard

The Fujian Coast Guard carried out regular law enforcement patrols in the waters near Kinmen on June 25, 2024. Photo: website of China Coast Guard

The Fujian Coast Guard boarded and detained a Taiwan fishing vessel suspected of illegal fishing in the waters off Quanzhou on Tuesday, according to the China Coast Guard (CCG) on Wednesday, as the authorities specified that the action was taken in accordance with the law.

The vessel violated the seasonal fishing ban by trawling within the area, and the gear used was much smaller than the minimum mesh size stipulated by the state, constituting a danger to marine fishery resources and the environment, said Liu Dejun, the CCG spokesperson.

Liu added that some vessels from the Taiwan region attempted to interfere with the process of normal law enforcement, and the Fujian Coast Guard issued a warning and drove the vessels away in accordance with the law.

Chen Binhua, a spokesperson for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, said on Wednesday that this is normal law enforcement aimed at maintaining the order of fishery production, marine fishery resources, and the ecological environment, adding that the relevant departments will deal with the matter in accordance with the law.

A statement by Taiwan maritime authority, reported by AP, claimed that the Tachinman 88 was intercepted by two Chinese vessels near Kinmen, and three rescue vessels had been dispatched and the one that approached was "told not to interfere." 

According to Central News Agency in Taiwan island, the vessel had five crew onboard. Taiwan's coast guard department explained the latest situation on Wednesday, saying the incident took place within mainland waters, according to media reports.

"Given that both sides of the Straits are part of China, China has to practice the sovereignty and its right to govern, including jurisdiction," Zheng Jian, a professor at the Taiwan Research Institute of Xiamen University, told the Global Times on Wednesday, adding that China has the right to enforce regulations when the seasonal fishing ban is violated.

The action is a defense of the one-China principle, and against the current acts of "Taiwan independence," Zheng said. The current tension across the Taiwan Straits is caused by the US and "Taiwan independence" separatist forces, and the US wants to maintain tension in order to contain China, Zheng said.

Zheng added that if the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities continue to seek "Taiwan independence," the scope of embodied jurisdiction will only be closer to the island of Taiwan, and this trend is fully visible.

According to a previous report, past law enforcement patrols by the CCG were carried out along fixed routes and with fixed formations. However, after completing patrols along a fixed route, the CCG adopted a new model in waters near Kinmen, conducting law enforcement activities in single ships or pairs, Yuyuan Tantian, a social media influencer affiliated with state broadcaster CCTV, said in a post on Weibo.

The CCG previously chose an enforcement method that delineated several points within the "prohibited and restricted waters" defined by Taiwan island's DPP authorities and dispatched a coast guard vessel formation to patrol along these points. 

Between April to May, the frequency of the CCG's patrols near Kinmen increased, with multiple enforcement routes covering various waters south and east of Kinmen islands. With the new model, the enforcement scope has expanded from lines to areas, which indicates that CCG's control over the waters near Kinmen has been further strengthened.