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S. Korea to install additional artificial reefs near western sea border

2018/01/13 09:00

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INCHEON, Jan. 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will install additional artificial reefs near the western maritime border with North Korea to prevent illegal fishing by Chinese vessels, the provincial government said Saturday.

Incheon Metropolitan City said it will install artificial reefs around the five northwestern border islands in the Yellow Sea, including Baengnyeong and Daecheong, to prevent illegal trawling by Chinese boats.

The central government and Incheon have placed about 800 man-made underwater structures, which range in size from 2 tons to 53.5 tons, in the western sea since 2013.

Artificial reefs are man-made underwater structures that mimic some of the characteristics of natural reefs to protect marine resources. They are also effective at preventing illegal trawling.

Chinese trawlers have taken advantage of tensions between the two Koreas: the South's Coast Guard does not actively crack down on Chinese ships near the high-tension western sea border since doing so could trigger an accidental clash with the North.

In July, North Korea condemned the artificial reef structures as part of Seoul's military provocations against Pyongyang's maritime demarcation line.