China urges Ecuador to deal fairly with 20 jailed Chinese fishermen: FM

Updated 2017-08-30 09:04:08 Global Times

China said it would not tolerate illegal fishing but hopes Ecuador will deal fairly with the issue after Ecuador jailed 20 Chinese fishermen.

"Information gathered by China and Ecuador shows there's no evidence that the ship's crew had fished in Ecuador's waters," Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a press conference on Tuesday.

"However, because the ship's crew was not clear about Ecuador's regulations, the ship entered the oceanic conservation area of the Galapagos Islands," Hua said.

In terms of transporting in the high seas, the Chinese government will investigate the matter and punish any violators based on international and Chinese law, Hua said, adding that China hopes Ecuador could fairly deal with the case.

Twenty sailors from China were sentenced to jail terms ranging from one to four years and have collectively been hit with a .9 million fine for illegally transporting protected species, Ecuador's Ministry of Environment announced.

However local experts had said that the crew should pay billion to properly compensate Ecuador for their actions, according to a Monday Beijing Youth Daily report.

The crew had manned the Fu Yuan Yu Leng 999, a trawler that was discovered in the Galapagos full of endangered species on August 13 after departing from East China's Fujian Province on July 7, the Beijing Youth Daily reported.

Over 300 tons of endangered species were discovered on board including hammerhead sharks, with some fishes' heads already chopped off, local police and the staff of the Galapagos National Park said.

The Galapagos Islands were listed as a World Natural Heritage Site in 1978.

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