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Gov't to strengthen penalties for illegal fishing by S. Korean ships

All Headlines 09:18 April 11, 2013

SEOUL, April 11 (Yonhap) -- The Seoul government plans to strengthen penalties for illegal deep-sea fishing by South Korean ships, it said Thursday, amid growing criticism from other countries that may also lead to an import ban on South Korean fisheries products.

The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said it will work to revise the law on deep-sea fishing to curb illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing by South Korean vessels.

Under the proposed revision, the maximum fine of 5 million won (US$4,428) for IUU fishing will be raised to a level the ministry said can "effectively discourage" such activities.

It will also require all local vessels engaged in deep-sea fishing to equip a tracking device, which is currently required only when an international organization or the country of exclusive waters in which the boat operates makes such a demand, according to the ministry.

In addition, the government will expand the scope of its inspection to all boats with a previous record of IUU or that are under suspicion.

The ministry said it will soon submit the revision to the National Assembly, and work to legislate the bill at the earliest date possible.

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