South Korea amends fisheries law to address illegal fishing

Fishing boats in Busan Port, South Korea. Credit: calflier001/CC-BY-SA-2.0 Fishing boats in Busan Port, South Korea. Credit: calflier001/CC-BY-SA-2.0
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The Korean National Assembly has amended its fisheries law to help curb illegal fishing.

The amendment to South Korea's Water Fisheries Act increases penalties for illegal fishing to a maximum of three times the value of the fish caught, up from the current fine of US$5,000. It also includes provisions for imprisonment, while industries involved in illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, or mistreating their fishing crews, will lose their government subsidies under the new legislation.

Greenpeace East Asia has said that although these provisions are finally addressing the problem of illegal fishing by South Korea’s fleet, the country still has a long way to go.

Greenpeace East Asia oceans campaigner, Jiehyun Park, said, "We will be keeping a close watch to ensure more progressive legislation is introduced without delay to address both illegal fishing and the need to manage fisheries sustainably.

"South Korea must ensure sustainable fisheries management both at home and abroad, where it participates in regional fisheries negotiations. Its track record is at odds with conservation measures and science and precautionary principles. Changes are desperately needed to ensure sufficient fish for all, including South Korea’s fishing fleets."

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