On Feb. 20 the Fisheries Agency released the results of a crackdown on foreign fishing boats in 2017. The agency announced it issued a record of more than 5,000 warnings to leave Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs). It also said that the number of North Korean ships is surging primarily in the Sea of Japan and that they account for roughly 90% of the warnings to leave the EEZs.
According to a survey conducted by the agency, it issued 5,191 warnings, by loudspeaker and water cannon, to fishing boats to leave EEZs in 2017. The number of warnings the agency issued increased significantly from the previous year’s 3,681 due to the agency’s focus on deploying patrol ships in the EEZs in addition to the rise in the number of North Korean and Chinese fishing vessels operating illegally in the rich fishing grounds of Yamatotai and vicinity in the Sea of Japan. (Abridged)