Argentina Sinks Chinese Trawler in Violation of Territorial waters
Argentina’s coast guard sank a Chinese trawler that was fishing illegally in its territorial waters after it tried to ram a coast guard boat, authorities said on Tuesday.
In the high-seas chase a coast guard vessel on Monday pursued the Lu Yan Yuan Yu 010 toward international waters, firing warning shots across the Chinese boat’s bow as it attempted to raise the crew by radio.
“On several occasions the offending ship performed manoeuvres designed to force a collision with the coast guard, putting at risk not only its own crew but coast guard personnel, who were then ordered to shoot parts of the vessel,” the coast guard said in a statement.
The crew abandoned ship when the vessel began to go down. Four were rescued by the coast guard while others were picked up by another Chinese vessel shadowing the pursuit.
The drama marks a first test for relations between centre-right President Mauricio Macri and Beijing.
A spokesman for Argentina’s foreign ministry said the judiciary was investigating the incident. Comment was sought from the Chinese embassy in Buenos Aires.
The coast guard used radar to pick up the trawler fishing off the coast of Puerto Madryn, Chubut province, a zone known for squid.
Shots were fired into the hull of the Lu Yan Yuan Yu 010 after it ignored radio calls to allow the Argentine coast guard to board as well as repeated warning fire, the Argentinian authorities said.
China has the world’s largest distant water fishing fleet, with more than 2,000 vessels according to the not-for-profit group Stop Illegal Fishing.
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