Daxi Fishing Harbor, Yilan, Taiwan. Photo: Google Maps
Daxi Fishing Harbor, Yilan, Taiwan. Photo: Google Maps

A Taiwanese captain and his six crew members were all arrested for illegal coastal fishing by dredging off northeastern Taiwan on Monday morning, and could face fines of up to NT$150,000 (US$4,845).

At around 9am, the Coast Guard Administration detected on radar a fishing vessel that had departed from Daxi Fishing Harbor, Yilan, and was lingering around 2.4 nautical miles north of Bitoujiao, the most northeastern point of the Yilan coast, the China Daily News reported.

When the vessel, which had prior records of illegal fishing, was around 2.6 nautical miles from the coast, it started fishing by dredging, which was a violation of a law prohibiting dredging in waters within 3 nautical miles of a Taiwan coast.

When coast-guard officers were dispatched to the area, the fishing boat refused to stop for inspection until it reached the legal boundary for dredging.

On board, more than 200 kilograms of catch was recovered, including red bigeyes and eels, and thus the two Taiwanese, including the captain, and five Indonesian migrants were arrested for illegal fishing.