China seized a Taiwanese fishing boat, the Dajinman 88 along with its crew for engaging in illegal fishing activities within China’s territorial waters. The vessel was with five crew members onboard, two Taiwanese and three Indonesians.

China Seizes Taiwanese Fishing Boat for Fishing Illegally

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On Tuesday night. Approximately 2.8 nautical miles off China’s coast, within its territorial waters. Taiwanese fishing boat named Dajinman 88 was seized.

Five members (two Taiwanese and three Indonesians). Illegal fishing during China’s fishing ban and using inappropriate fishing gear.

The incident occurred during China’s annual fishing moratorium from May to August. Chinese authorities claimed that the vessel used fishing equipment that damaged marine fishery resources. The boat was taken to Weitou port in southeastern China by the Chinese Coast Guard.

Taiwan requested the immediate release of the vessel and its crew. Taiwanese officials confirmed the boat was in Chinese waters and had sent patrol ships to assist, but refrained from pursuing to avoid tensions.

Taiwanese coast guard ships used loudspeakers demanding the boat’s release, while Chinese ships responded similarly.

Since 2003, China has detained 17 Taiwanese vessels for violating fishing bans, while Taiwan has detained five Chinese boats this year alone.

Both sides were more flexible regarding fishing activities near each other’s coastlines, but recent years have seen stricter enforcement from Taiwan due to increased illegal fishing by Chinese vessels.

China has increased its military pressure on Taiwan asserting claims over the Taiwan Strait as its exclusive economic zone, a stance not recognized by other nations like Japan and the U.S.

China introduced regulations allowing its coast guard to board, search, and detain vessels in all waters it claims without charge for up to 60 days.

These regulations are part of an effort to deter foreign vessels from countries like the Philippines from entering disputed waters in the South China Sea.

China’s aggressive maritime claims extend to other areas, the South China Sea, where confrontations with Filipino and other regional fishermen have increased.

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The Chinese coast guard has also taken actions around the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands leading to standoffs with Japanese vessels.

The seizure near Taiwan underlines China’s strategy to control over its claimed waters challenging the maritime boundaries recognized by its neighbors.

The Kinmen islands are Taiwan-controlled but located just a short distance from Chinese cities like Xiamen and Quanzhou.

The islands have been a point of cross-strait tensions with increasing Chinese maritime enforcement since the drowning of two Chinese fishermen in February during an escape attempt from Taiwanese authorities.

The Chinese coast guard detained the Tachinman 88 for allegedly violating China’s summer fishing moratorium.

Accusations included illegal fishing practices such as using trawl nets in prohibited areas and using nets with smaller mesh sizes than permitted by Chinese regulations.

All five crew members including Taiwanese and Indonesian nationals were detained and taken to a nearby Chinese port.

Taiwan’s Coast Guard Administration condemned the detention, stating that three Taiwan coast guard vessels responded to the distress call but retreated to avoid the conflict with the outnumbering Chinese coast guard.

Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC) considers itself a sovereign state, while China (People’s Republic of China, PRC) views Taiwan as a breakaway province that must be reunited with the mainland, by force if necessary.

Taiwan and China have had a complex relationship since the Chinese Civil War ended in 1949 leading to the retreat of the Nationalist government to Taiwan and the establishment of the PRC on the mainland.

The Taiwan Strait, where the incident occurred is a critical waterway for regional security and international trade. The United States, Japan and other regional powers monitor developments in the Taiwan Strait.

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