The number of Chinese boats is allegedly rising in Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EZZ) off the Noto Peninsula in the central prefecture of Ishikawa for illegally fishing flying squid. The Fisheries Agency requested the fishing boats to avoid certain areas and go elsewhere due to a recent surge in Chinese vessels moving in.
Fisheries Agency executives deteriorated to go into details, saying only that its request was intended at securing the protection of Japanese fishing boats. According to their reports, from the start of this year, 2,586 Chinese fishing boats received warnings from the Agency to leave the rich Yamatotai fishing ground area in the waters of Japan, nearly 4 times from a year before.
Yamatotai is situated in the center of the Sea of Japan and deemed a treasure trove of “surumeika” Japanese flying squid and crab hauls. The copious fishing area is also famous for banned operations carried out by foreign fishing boats that occur many got times a year. In October 2019, a North Korean fishing boat sank after a collision with a Fisheries Agency patrol ship. However, this year, only a few North Korean fishing boats have been found nearby the area.
According to Fisheries Agency reports, about four thousand North Korean fishing boats were warned to leave the Yamatotai waters last year. But in 2020, only one boat has been asked to do so. The North Korean ship’s intrusion remains unclear, but some consider that the ship came to the area to assist fishing by Chinese boats, as North Korea is alleged to have been selling fishery rights to China.
Hiroshi Kishi, chief of JF Zengyoren, National Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations, made a round of visits to government offices last week, including the prime minister’s office, to request that fishing be permissible to resume in the Yamatotai zone. “The government should execute a rigid response so that Japanese boats can continue fishing,” Kishi said. He added, “This is a tremendously unusual situation”, “We want the Japanese government to bring order to the area so that we can function without worrying”.