Fishermen’s rational and peaceful appeal for fishing rights at Diaoyutai fishing grounds receives affirmative response.
The Fisheries Agency (FA) indicated that fishing operations in the waters of the northern region near Diaoyutai are often interfered with by Japanese law enforcement boats. Cheng Chun-Sheng, Chairmen of the Suao Fishermen Association, and Mr. Lin Ri-Cheng, led a fleet of fishermen to the Diaoyutai area and launched a rational and peaceful protest to the Japanese government. The fleet has returned safely. The FA expresses its appreciation and affirmation for their actions, as well as its sincere gratitude to the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) and the involved offices for their effort in protecting our fishing rights.
Undoubtedly, Diaoyutai is a traditional fishing ground of Taiwan.
The FA further explained that Taiwanese fishermen have been operating in the waters near Diaoyutai for centuries. Among the 58 fishing boats gathered for the protest, 49 were large long-line fishing vessels. By tonnage, six of the 58 vessels were medium-sized fishing vessels between 50 and 100 tons, and the remaining 52 were small fishing boats between 10 and 50 tons. To them, the Diaoyutai waters have been a traditional fishing ground for generations. The FA maintained close contact with Chairman Chen before they left for the protest and urged the fishermen to be alert for their safety and express their demands in a peaceful and rational manner. Chairman Chen expressed that the fishermen were forced to take action at sea because they have to protect their fishing rights, which they depend on for their livelihood. Their appeal is very simple. All they asking for is the right to fish in their traditional fishing grounds safely without interference. They assured the public that the protest would be carried out in a peaceful and rational manner and the participants would return safely.
Talks with Japan on fishing rights continue.
Through this protest for fishing rights, we urge Japan to take the facts of our fishing rights and the long-existing dispute seriously. Seeing the fishermen’s rights as a priority, the FA will work with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to engage in continuous talks with Japan regarding fishing rights under the principles laid out in President Ma's “East China Sea Peace Initiative”.