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Fisheries Agency denies complicity in overfishing

TAIPEI--The Fisheries Agency denied Sunday accusations that Taiwan is complicit in overfishing in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean, as the government continues to allow the construction of additional purse seiners and longliner fishing vessels that jeopardize ocean ecosystems and resources.

The agency under the Council of Agriculture said the accusations by Greenpeace environmentalists are untrue, as the building of fishing vessels is strictly controlled by the government.

All newly built fishing vessels are simply replacements of old boats, the agency said.

The number of purse seiners in Taiwan remains at the same level of 34, while the number of 100-ton longliners has decreased by nearly 200 after the government implemented measures to reduce the number of such boats between 2005 and 2008, according to data compiled by the agency.

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