A South Korean flagged trawler allegedly operating in Argentine waters was caught on Thursday red-handed with its nets in the sea and is being escorted to Comodoro Rivadavia.
According to the Argentine Coast Guard release, the O Yang 77 ( IMO 7416612) was fishing illegally in the country's Economic Exclusive Zone, and was located and seized in a joint operation conducted by Security minister Patricia Bullrich and the head of the Coast Guard, as part of a major effort to protect the country's fisheries in the South Atlantic.
Coast Guard patrol GC-24 Mantilla detected the South Korean vessel in Argentina's EEZ, and taking advantage of state of the art equipment was able to determine the exact position of the O Yang 77 trawling its nets.
Following the established protocol, under international norms, the Argentine vessel made radio contact with the captain of the trawler ordering him to stop and leave nets where they were. This was followed by a boarding party including inspectors from the Argentine Fisheries. A first review of the holds showed that the South Korean trawler had caught some 130 tons of fish.
From Seoul, the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said on Friday that a fishing trawler belonging to Sajo Oyang Corporation was seized by an Argentine patrol squad around 7 a.m. Korea time and was being escorted to a local port. The vessel carrying 44 sailors including ten South Koreans was believed to be catching squid near the Falkland Islands.
But a Fisheries Ministry official in Seoul cited a different view from Korea's monitoring center, saying that the vessel did not violate Argentina's EEZ. South Koreans are confident that the facts can be determined after the vessel arrives at a local port for investigation.
Meanwhile, Sajo Oyang Corporation announced it was sending an official to Argentina on Saturday to contact local authorities. Finally the Argentine release indicates that the 60.50 meters long O Yang 77 and 10.80 meters beam had left Montevideo on January 5th for the South Atlantic with a crew of 45.