Taiwan and Philippines sign fisheries law enforcement agreement

| November 19, 2015 | 0 Comments
Jacana tuna fish landing. Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines. 24 April 2009

Jacana tuna fish landing. Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines. 24 April 2009

Taiwan and the Philippines concluded the Agreement Concerning the Facilitation of Cooperation on Law Enforcement in Fisheries Matters on 5 November.

The pact is expected to effectively reduce fisheries disputes in the two countries’ overlapping exclusive economic zones and protect the rights and interests of Taiwan fishermen operating legally. It was signed in Taipei by Representative Gary Song-huann Lin of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines and Representative Antonio I. Basilio of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office in Taiwan.

Following the signing, the two sides convened the first Technical Working Group meeting the same day. A consensus was reached on two mechanisms-a one-hour advance notification to the other party and release of detained vessels and crew within three days-which were made part of the agreement through an exchange of notes. The accord and exchange of notes will be announced after both sides have completed their respective domestic administrative procedures.

Under the agreement, before law enforcement action is taken against a fishing vessel from the other party believed to be operating illegally in the overlapping EEZs, one-hour advance notification will be given to the fisheries and coast guard agencies, as well as representative office, of the other party. If the vessel is found to have violated the law and subsequently detained, it will be released within three days after posting reasonable bond, other security, or payment consistent with the law of the arresting party.

The agreement upholds the spirit and principles of President Ma Ying-jeou’s South China Sea Peace Initiative, which calls for shelving disputes, pursuing peace and reciprocity, and promoting joint exploration and development of resources. It resulted from negotiations in the aftermath of the tragic incident involving the Taiwan fishing boat Guang Da Xing No. 28 in May 2013, and is meant to prevent any further such incidents.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Fisheries Agency, and Coast Guard Administration will continue to hold consultations with related Philippine government agencies through the cooperation mechanism established under this accord.

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Category: A Frontpage, Philippines, Taiwan, World

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