Okinawan tuna fishing boats have their trawl lines cut off 15 times

Okinawan tuna fishing boats have their trawl lines cut off 15 times

Chart on targeted trawlers. Parallel line: dates of the incidents and vertical line: the fishing associations to which the boats belong.

May 29, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

In waters about 110 kilometers southwest of the main Island of Okinawa, seven tuna fishing boats had their trawl lines cut off by an unknown party.

The Okinawa Prefectural Government (OPG) reported that 15 incidents had occurred from May 16 to 25. The boats, which are part of the Okinawa Tuna Fishery Association that has fishing rights in the Adjacent Sea, had their trawl lines cut off six times. There is a suspicion U.S. navy warships were involved. The government has asked the U.S. military what happened, but had not received a response as of May 28.

In particular, on May 17 and 18, six boats belonging to the association, Naha Fishery Association and Boat Owners Association of Okinawa had their lines cut off eight times.

A crew member from one of the targeted ships said, “We had difficulty fishing because of having several parts of the lines cut. Although we halted fishing, and started looked for the lost fishing gears, by the end of the afternoon, we could not find them.” Another said, “The lines were worn and cut. With rust on the cut edge, they were scratched by wire.”

(English translation by T&CT)

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