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Taiwan coast guard seizes Chinese fishing boat near Dongsha Islands

ROC Central News Agency

2017/03/23 20:53:41

Taipei, March 23 (CNA) Taiwan's coast guard said Thursday that it had seized a Chinese fishing boat and detained the captain and crew after they were caught fishing earlier in the week in waters near the Dongsha Islands, which are controlled by Taiwan.

The captain and 19 crew members were taken to the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors Office on Wednesday for questioning on alleged violations of the Immigration Act and National Park Act, the coast guard said in a statement.

The captain admitted that the crew had been fishing for three days in an area less than 24 nautical miles off the Dongsha Islands and had planned to stay there for two weeks, prosecutors said.

The plan was to sell the fish to wholesalers when the boat returned to Hong Kong, where it was registered, the captain said, according to prosecutors.

When the boat was seized Tuesday, it was already carrying about 350 kilograms of live fish, including parrot fish and sand snappers, prosecutors said.

The catch was turned over to Dongsha Atoll Marine National Park for release back into the sea to preserve the marine ecology, prosecutors said.

The coast guard seized the Chinese boat 6.1 nautical miles south of the Dongsha Islands, said Yang Chao-ching (楊朝卿), a coast guard officer.

The Dongsha Islands, also called Pratas Islands, in the northern part of the South China Sea, are known to be rich in marine resources.

(By Chen Chao-fu and Lilian Wu)
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