A Taiwanese coast guard ship, CG 126 Tainan was used to repel 25 Chinese fishing boats by shooting water jets at them over the last three days for bottom trawling at waters around Penghu, located in Taiwan Strait.
On Saturday, the 2000 tonne CG 126 Tainan and an armed patrol vessel were dispatched by the coast guards immediately after a police squad leader observed two of the boats fishing using bottom trawling- a process in which the net dragged across the seafloor scoops up everything in its path – from the targeted fish to incidentally caught, centuries-old corals, Taipei Times reported Monday.
Personnel on the CG 126 Tainan shot water jets to repel the boats, which they claimed were poaching fish illegally from the South Penghu Marine National Park. These boats bearing Chinese flags were entering Penghu waters due to high winds and rough waves in the deeper areas of the Taiwan Strait, the report added.
“We are worried that bottom trawling in the national park has already caused extensive damage to coral reefs and the seabed habitat for fish and other marine life,” Taipei Times quoted Lai Feng-wei, Penghu County commissioner as saying, who added that he would initiate talks with the Chinese government and prioritize prevention of illegal poaching and intrusion by Chinese fishing boats.