Korea has secured the right to catch 60,000 tons of fish in Japanese waters in 2011, unchanged from the year before, the government said Monday.
The agreement, reached with Japan late last week, reflects complaints raised by local fishermen operating in Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said.
Under the deal, 870 Korean boats will be allowed to catch fish in Japanese waters, down from 900 in 2010. Japan had originally asked the total catch to be reduced to 56,000 tons and 700 fishing vessels.
In addition to maintaining the same quota as last year, Korea and Japan agreed to delay mandatory global positioning system (GPS) record keeping of fishing boats operating in the EEZ for three years instead of implementing the move this year.
“Boats will be required to keep their GPS records starting on March 1, 2014, which reflects the strong objections raised by local fishermen,” a ministry official said.
Seoul and Tokyo concurred to abolish the practice of fisheries authorities ordering boats to update logs on fishing operations and their total haul, he said.
This practice has been criticized for making it harder for boats to catch fish since the crew have to spend time physically checking and confirming their total catch and where they have been operating.
The official said that since the agreement is bilateral, Japanese boats operating in Korea’s EEZ will be subject to the same quota and rules. The pact does not cover the so-called joint fishing grounds where the EEZ of the two countries overlap.
The ministry, meanwhile, said the neighboring countries agreed to set up a marine resources preservation committee comprising experts from the two sides to check marine resources of various fish stocks by year’s end and work out a viable road map for sustainable fishing operations.