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SVG and Taiwan flags line the boulevard outside the presidential office in Taiwan during Taiwan's National Day celebrations on Oct. 10.
SVG and Taiwan flags line the boulevard outside the presidential office in Taiwan during Taiwan’s National Day celebrations on Oct. 10.
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The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected]

Happy Double 10 day to the Government and People of the Republic of China on Taiwan, our beloved Formosa twinned island. Thank you for all your efforts on behalf of the dear people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

I take the word of the ROC’s Ambassador Ger in relation to the issue of Taiwan NOT fishing in SVG’s territorial waters or economic zone. I still need to be convinced otherwise.

This, despite some quite tantalising articles by my distant cousin, the erudite Mr. Ivan O’Neal, political leader of the SVG Green Party, and the stern critiques of the erstwhile Peter, whose articles I so often greatly admire.

Sorry, guys, but you still need to prove your point. Yes, let us continue investigating, researching, and discussing on the issue. But, it is by no means a slam-dunk here for you both. But, let’s continue our national vigilance.

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In the meantime, I defer to Ambassador Ger and the historically (for Vincentians) magnanimous nationalist Republic of China on Taiwan. Happy 10-10 ANNIVERSARY, ROC TAIWAN. May your people still for some more precious time, enjoy relative peace, happiness and prosperity in this tumultuous, increasingly dangerous and “dicey” world.

Steve Huggins

The opinions presented in this content belong to the author and may not necessarily reflect the perspectives or editorial stance of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

3 replies on “On the fishing issue, I believe the Taiwan ambassador”

  1. Technically the ambassador is correct the fishing boats fishing in our waters are not Taiwanese because they fly the flags and are registered in other countries such as Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Panama etc. So they are not Taiwanese, but they really are Taiwanese with a Taiwanese captain and owner hiding behind a flag of convenience.

    The way in which the Taiwanese fishing interests seek to avoid fishing controls in the Caribbean countries 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zones [EEZ] waters is by the use of what are known as “flags of convenience” [FOCs]. Under international law, the country whose flag a vessel flies is responsible for controlling the activities of that vessel to ensure that it abides by the relevant rules, such as fishing regulations, safety and labour standards, and many others. The so-called “FOC countries” allow fishing boats to fly their flag – for a fee – and then ignore any violations of international fisheries laws committed by them. These “pirate” vessels can then fish as if the rules set by their own countries and by international law don’t apply. Honduras, Panama, Belize and St. Vincent & the Grenadines have been the worst offenders of the FOC countries.

    I have even visited Trinidad where they land their catches of frozen at sea fish, the industry is huge and draining our fish resources. Even the boxes and packing are printed or marked in Chinese. I have the photos and have published them several times in the past.

    So it is not OK to pretend this is not happening because it is. I believe that besides the Taiwanese ambassador knowing what is going on so does the Vincentian leadership.

    It is not OK to try and fool the Vincentian people with words.

  2. Dear Steven hold on a minute.

    Taiwan is known as the owners [or even non-owners] of the largest distant water fishing fleet in the world, 2500 fishing boats and factory ships. They are also known as the World’s greatest fishing pirates and ‘Green Peace’ believes they are fishery terrorists. They frequently try and pretend the fleet is not theirs.

    They are known to fish illegally in everyone’s waters whilst sailing under flags of convenience [FOC], including to a very large scale the flag of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, who make up the greatest part of their FOC fleet. They are carrying out fishing atrocities and plundering everywhere hiding behind FOCs.

    Seeing as SVG has no fishery protection vessels, and no fishery surveillance aircraft, everyone is fishing in our waters including Venezuelans and Japanese. The Venezuelans were given direct permission by Gonsalves Chavez told us so when he visited SVG.

    The Taiwanese are responsible for almost wiping out the Atlantic/Caribbean White Marlin. As part of their operation they also tour all the seas illegally fishing shark, cutting off the fins and throwing the body back into the sea whilst still alive.

    They have brought the tuna fish stock worldwide almost to a non recoverable point in stocks.

    They hide behind the Vincentian flag whilst plundering fish stocks everywhere. The flag allows them to circumvent international treaties and regulations which their own government would be obliged to prosecute them for.

    Taiwan’s use of flags of convenience and some of the concerns raised by my comments were covered in a Greenpeace report, ‘The Inconvenient Truth of Taiwan’s Flags of Convenience’, published in September 2010.


    Japan says “fish laundering” was occurring on a wide scale. The tuna pirates meet shadowy cargo vessels on the high seas and transfer their catch. It is then taken to Japan where, depending on the state of quotas and placement of legal ships, the cargo ship declares the fish came from the South Atlantic or the Indian Ocean.

    Tokyo gave the example of Lung Yuin, a Taiwanese company-owned freezer cargo ship flying a Panamanian flag, carrying frozen bigeye tuna to Japan.

    When authorities inspected it, they found that the tuna had been caught by 25 Taiwanese vessels and three Vanuatu flagged fishing boats owned by Taiwanese companies. All 28 boats had given false information about where they had caught the fish, while Lung Yuin had two log books-one true, the other false.

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