Data loading...

Taiwan Coast Guard To Protect Fishermen During Ongoing Tuna Season

Taiwan’s fisheries groups on Wednesday called for increased patrols of the waters around the country on a regular basis and talks on fishing rights with neighboring countries to ensure the safety of their fishing boats. In light of the growing tensions over an incident in which a Taiwanese fisherman was shot dead by the Philippines Coast Guard, many fishermen are afraid the the Southeast Asian country will turn on them at the sea, said Wu Ming-jen, president of the Fishermen’s Association of Kaohsiung City.
The government has to show its determination to protect Taiwan’s fishing boats by sending out patrol ships on a regular basis, Wu urged, expressing worry the Navy vessels will withdraw after the row with Philippines is settled.
Although Taiwan has imposed a slew of sanctions against the Philippines, the government has handled the case at a slow pace, said Tsai Pao-hsing, chief executive of Liouciou Fishermen’s Association. If the government is not able to provide regular sea patrols, Taiwan should cooperate with China to safeguard the fishing boats and help allay fishermen’s fears, Tsai suggested. Meanwhile, head of the Coast Guard Administration Wang Jinn-wang said that the protected area, which extends as far south as latitude 20 degrees north, could be expanded if necessary. For example, during the annual tuna season between April and July, Taiwan’s coast guard ships can patrol further south but stay with international law and avoid entering Philippines territory, Wang said.