China and South Korea have entered into an agreement to work together in curbing the longstanding problem of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the East China Sea.
The agreement was reached following a high-level meeting last week involving senior fisheries officials from the two countries.
South Korea agreed to work with China in reporting Chinese boats illegally fishing in the North Korean waters in the East China Sea. China must also notify South Korea of the results of its investigation and follow-up measures, according to the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, South Korea.
Over the years, there has been concern over the scale of Chinese fishing activity in North Korean waters in the East China Sea.
According to a report by the Korean Maritime Institute, the amount of squid caught by South Korean fishers between 2014 and 2018 (a period when IUU fishing spiked in the East China Sea) declined from 163,000 tons to 46,000 tons. This could hint at the degradation of marine fisheries.
China has banned its fishing boats from operating in North Korean waters, as it is a party to the UN Security Council Resolution 2397 adopted on December 2017. It prohibits North Korea from selling or transferring fishing rights to foreign fishers.
Under the new cooperation agreement, South Korea has also called on China to make it mandatory for Chinese fishing vessels to install Automatic Identification System (AIS).