Okinawan and Taiwanese fishermen agree on operation in waters north of Yaeyama

Okinawan and Taiwanese fishermen agree on operation in waters north of Yaeyama

The methods agreed between the fishermen of Japan and Taiwan.


March 21, 2014 Fumitetsu Jahana of Ryukyu Shimpo

On March 20, Okinawan and Taiwanese fishermen agreed on operation in part of the triangular area of the waters north of the Yaeyama Islands. The meeting was held under the fisheries agreement between Japan and Taiwan. The fishermen of Japan and Taiwan have agreed to operate for 24 hours a day by adjusting the hours of casting and drawing their lines. It is the first time that they have agreed on the methods of the operation in a concrete way. They confirmed this agreement at the fourth meeting between the fishermen of Japan and Taiwan held in Taiwan on March 10. A member of the meeting reported to the Okinawa Prefecture Fishery Operators Association on the issues of the fisheries disputes between China, Taiwan, and Japan on March 20.

Japan and Taiwan agreed at the third meeting of a Taiwan-Japan fishing commission that Japanese fishermen would operate maintaining a four-nautical-mile distance between boats in the designated area with five-days prior notification. However, at the fourth meeting between the fishermen of Japan and Taiwan, they introduced new methods for being able to operate every day. In fact, they can operate every day with or without prior notification. Taiwanese fishing boats’ operation will be reduced from two to one a day. Japanese fishing boats set their lines in a south to north direction to 25 degrees 10 minutes north latitude during the time from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m., and they will draw their lines at 2:00 p.m. Taiwanese fishing boats set their lines from west to east direction to 124 degrees 15 minutes east longitude at 12:00 a.m., and they will draw their lines during the time from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.

Using this method, Japanese fishing boats are able to set their lines in the designated area while Taiwanese boats draw their lines. The fishermen from both sides can operate equally in overlapping waters without trouble.

The fishermen of Japan and Taiwan will practice this method from April 20, the opening day of the fishing season in Taiwan, to July when the fishing season of bluefin tuna ends. The next year’s operation will be discussed at the fifth meeting between fishermen of Japan and Taiwan after the fishing season ends. Both sides confirmed that the Yaeyama Fishing Cooperative, the Okinawa Fishery Radio Association, the Suao Fishery Association and the Suao Fishery Radio Association will provide a link for information between Japan and Taiwan.

(English translation by T&CT)

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