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 Maritime Patrol Directorate General of the Coast Guard Administration (CGA), 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 the offshore Penghu county.
Lee said that the Kinmen coast guard performed brilliantly last year, but there is still room for improvement.
He said 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$218,000) in fines.
Last year, five Chinese sand dredgers were also briefly detained and released after paying fines.