By Wang Qi, Sina English
Incheon coast guard officials said they detained four Chinese fishing vessels last Friday for alleged "illegal fishing" in South Korea's Exclusive Economic Zone(EEC), according to South Korea news agency Yonhap News Agency(YNA).
Four Chinese fishing vessels were “fishing illegally in waters of South Korea, about 24 kilometers southeast off Sochong-do around 4:30 Thursday morning,” said South Korea coast guard officials.
The report said the detained vessels are 30-to 40-ton wooden vessels and single-trawling vessels, each with five to seven crew members.
YNA also reported South Korea coast guard police dispatched three patrol ships and two navy vessels in a joint operation aiming at “crackdown on Chinese vessels engaged in illegal fishing.”
On the same day, a separate case of Chinese fishermen charged with "illegal fishing" and "attacking coast guard officials" went on trial in local court of Cheju Island for the first ever time.
It also marked the first time that Chinese lawyers have gone to South Korea to defend for the Chinese fishermen.
South Korea media reported the the Chinese captain surnamed Wang denied accusations of "attempting to grab guns from coast guards," and stressed, instead, it was the coast guards who used violence.
According to ANP on June 15, the detained Chinese captain, three Chinese lawyers, one South Korean lawyer and an interpreter attended the trial. 15 coast guard officials also turned up at the court.
The prosecutors said Chinese fishing vessel was transporting more than 500 crates of illegal fished gains at 3:03 pm on January 17 in the waters near Cheju when they were arrested by Cheju coast guards.
They said Captain Wang attempted to "grab away guns from the guards" and "resist fiercely" when arrested.
But Wang denied all the allegations, saying his head was beaten and fingers hurt in the arrest.
According to reports, the second trial of the case is due to be at 11 am on July 6.