TOKYO: The Japanese coast guard says its patrol boats have been pushing back hundreds of North Korean boats attempting to poach in fishing grounds rich with squid off Japan’s northern coast.
Coast Guard officials said in a statement yesterday that they had forced more than 300 North Korean boats out of Japan’s exclusive economic zone, located near Yamatotai, since May.
The patrol boats used water cannons on 50 North Korean boats that ignored warnings.
Coast Guard footage obtained yesterday showed North Korean crewmen on a wooden boat abandoning a fishing rope after being sprayed with water.
Japanese authorities have stepped up patrols in the area as North Korean poaching has surged in recent years.Experts say Pyongyang’s campaign to boost fish harvests has led to increased poaching by North Korean boats. — AP