SEOUL, June 14 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea and China have agreed to boost cooperation in curbing illegal fishing by Chinese boats in the East Sea, the oceans ministry said Wednesday.
Under an agreement reached during a three-day working-level meeting last week, South Korea will swiftly inform China of suspected illegal fishing in the North Korean waters in the East Sea, and China must let South Korea know of the results of its investigation and follow-up measures, according to the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries.
China has banned its fishing boats from operating in North Korean waters after the enforcement of U.N. sanctions against the North.
South Korea also called on China to make it mandatory for Chinese fish carriers to install an automatic identification system, called AIS, and the two sides agreed to discuss the matter in the second half of this year, the ministry said.
They also decided to expand the areas subject to their joint patrols against illegal fishing activities starting next year.
Currently, they carry out joint inspections against illegal fishing in part of the provisional measures zone — an area in which fishing boats of the two neighbors can fish.
“We will continue to strengthen cooperation with the Chinese government to stamp out illegal fishing by Chinese boats and to proactively manage marine resources,” ministry official Kim Won-bae said.