By Evelyn Kao
The Lienchiang District Court said Monday that it had convicted the captain and eight crew of a Chinese fishing vessel of electrofishing in waters near Taiwan's outlying Matsu Island in January.
The captain, Zhou Fugen (周富根), was sentenced to four months in prison for violating the Immigration Law and another 20 months for violating the Fisheries Act, while the eight crew members were each given four months and 18 months in prison for violating the two laws, but the jail terms for five of them were suspended for five years.
In addition, the court ordered the confiscation of the fishing vessel and its haul of 1,392 kilograms of shrimp, the first time a ruling has led to such a confiscation.
The Lienchiang District Prosecutors Office said the fishing boat was apprehended on suspicion of encroaching in Matsu waters Jan. 23 and of using illegal fishing techniques.
It was the second time Zhou was found to have been involved in electrofishing for shrimp in the area. In 2006, he was sentenced to four months in prison for the same offense.