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Mainland encroachers to be interdicted

TAIPEI--Coast guard authorities on the outlying island of Kinmen vowed Monday to step up a crackdown on encroaching Chinese fishing boats and sand dredgers to protect the waters surrounding the Taiwan-controlled island.

Lee mao-jung, head of the Coast Guard Administration's (CGA) Maritime Patrol Directorate General, and Wu You-chin, deputy Kinmen magistrate, inspected coast guard personnel and their craft before they embarked on a patrol mission.

Lee noted that poaching by Chinese fishermen affects Kinmen's fishery resources.

The CGA has simultaneously embarked on similar crackdowns off the coasts of Northern, Central and Southern Taiwan, as well as offshore Penghu County.

Lee said that the Kinmen coast guard performed brilliantly last year, but stressed that there is still room for improvement.

He noted that Kinmen coast guard personnel escorted 502 Chinese fishing boats to the island for questioning last year, of which 89 paid a total of NT$6.55 million (US$218,075) in fines.

Last year, five Chinese sand dredgers were also briefly detained and released after paying fines.

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Three frigates and one helicopter are dispatched by the Maritime Patrol Directorate General (海巡署海洋巡防總局) to inspect a fishing boat from mainland China that strayed into Taiwanese coastal waters, the Coast Guard Administration said yesterday. (CNA)

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