Korea, China Join Hands in Fight Against Illegal Fishing

Korea and China will join hands in cracking down on illegal fishing by Chinese trawlers in the West Sea, starting as early as July next year.

The Korea-China joint fisheries committee met in the Chinese city of Sanya from Tuesday to Friday last week and agreed that they will conduct joint patrols in jointly-controlled waters in the West Sea, the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said on Monday.

Korea has repeatedly called for a joint crackdown on illegal fishing by Chinese trawlers in this area.

The original agreement to crack down on illegal fishing together came in June, but talks dragged on until now.

Kang Joon-seok of the ministry said, "We hope this agreement will contribute to eradicating illegal fishing by unauthorized Chinese trawlers."

The two sides will now try to decide when and how to carry out the patrols with a view to starting them in July next year.

Seoul and Beijing also agreed to set up check points for Chinese cargo ships in a pilot trial next year. Korean patrol boats will check the cargo ships passing through joint waters to see if they carry illegal catch transferred from Chinese trawlers.

englishnews@chosun.com / Oct. 29, 2013 13:15 KST