Illegal fishing by Chinese boats in South Korea grows unrestrained
Illegal fishing by Chinese boats in South Korean waters has become increasingly rampant, with reported cases more than doubling from 2017 to 2019.
According to Rep. Hong Moon-pyo of the main opposition People Power Party, the number of instances of either arrest or deportation of Chinese fishing boats operating in the western waters of South Korea reached 6,543 in 2019.
The legislator cited data submitted by the Ocean and Fisheries Ministry and the Coast Guard of Korea.
In 2020, 4,603 cases were reported during the period from January to August.
"By arresting and imposing fines on illegal fishing boats, the government can eradicate illegal fishing. But the government is merely heeding potential retaliation from China," Hong Moon-pyo stated.
While Chinese vessel arrests have dropped steadily, from 278 in 2017 to 195 in 2019, the deportation of Chinese vessels without penalties has increased sharply, from 2,796 to 6,348. From January to August of this year, only five boats were arrested.
Maritime Business World