December 13, 2011 11:20
The government asked China seven times since November last year to stop Chinese trawlermen fishing illegally in Korea's Exclusive Economic Zone, but Beijing brushed off the complaints.
According to a diplomatic source, the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries sent Beijing photographs and other evidence through the Chinese Embassy in Korea on seven separate occasions asking for action.
But the source said China merely claimed the fishermen unregistered and therefore difficult to track down. Another source said, "There were only a handful of times when fishermen were actually investigated and told to stop."
Others point out that while illegal fishing is handled by China's fisheries ministry, investigating violence by fishermen falls under the jurisdiction of the Chinese police, making it difficult for the illegal activities to be dealt with quickly.
The government wants Beijing to raise awareness among fishermen of Korea’s EEZ and crack down on illegal fishing in Korean waters, but experts say the huge body of water is not easy to patrol.
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