The Yomiuri ShimbunThe Japan Coast Guard has released video footage and photographs of its patrol ships firing water cannons to chase away North Korean fishing boats illegally operating in the Yamato Bank area off the Noto Peninsula in the Sea of Japan.
The bank — a fertile fishing ground — is located within Japan’s exclusive economic zone. Illegal fishing by mainly wooden fishing boats has become conspicuous there since summer. Illegal fishing by steel boats, which are sturdier than wooden ones, has increased since the sea became rougher in September.
The JCG has warned 1,900 boats, of which 500 were steel, to leave the zone since last summer.
Since late November, the JCG said it has hardly seen any illegal fishing boats.
The videos were taken from late September through early November. One shows a JCG patrol vessel firing a water cannon at a steel boat with the North Korean flag hoisted.
The boat is estimated to have a displacement of 150 to 200 tons and a length of about 30 to 40 meters. The agency said the boat left the area after water was fired at it.
The agency said there have been 89 wooden boats found drifting in the Sea of Japan or along the coast of Japan so far this year, as of noon Friday.
A record 30 have been found in December alone. The previous monthly record was 28, marked in November.
[Released on December 15, 2017]
Courtesy of Japan Coast Guard