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Mainland fishermen invade local Okinawa fishing area

Date Posted: 2007-03-29

Okinawa fishermen are in Miyazaki Prefecture today, demanding its fishermen keep out of Okinawa waters.

The Okinawa City Fishing Cooperative is angry about mainland fishing boats repeatedly venturing into a manmade fishing reserve 30-50 kilometers east of Awase Fishing Port. The local association created the Payao fishing area more than 20 years to attract game fish into the waters.

The head of the local cooperative, Mr. Komine, says “I can confirm other prefectures’ fishing boats in the area, or when the sea gets rough, over the past eight years.” Similar complaints to the Okinawa Prefecture Fishery Section have been lodged by Itoman City and Yaese Cho. Catching the invaders is difficult, officials say, because the mainland fishermen are using large scale, high speed ships that get away before local officials can detain them.

The Prefecture Fishing Section says protests have been made to Miyazaki Prefecture after ships painted with ‘MZ”, the sign for Miyazaki Prefecture, have been observed in Okinawa waters. The most recent incursion was about 6pm last Friday. Miyazaki Prefecture Fishery Planning Division has begun an investigation after hearing the complaint. The mainland prefecture told Okinawa “It’s true, Miyazaki boats were in Okinawa City’s Payao, so we want to guide them properly about strictly observing the rules.

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