Taiwan fishermen in protest

China | AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE 7 Nov 2018

Fishermen and their families took to the streets in Taiwan yesterday against what they said was an unfair crackdown on the industry which has been accused of illegal practices and human rights abuses.

The rally by coastal and long-haul fishermen in the capital Taipei is the latest challenge to President Tsai Ing-wen who has already faced major protests by disgruntled military veterans and labor unions over pension and other reforms.

It comes ahead of local elections on November 24, seen as a mid-term barometer after Tsai's first two years in office.

Over a thousand people gathered outside the agriculture council building, blowing horns and throwing paper money before marching to the legislative building. Many had traveled up from the south of Taiwan where the industry is concentrated.

"I understand the need for sustainability, but government enforcement has been too tough and the fines too high," said one protester who works on a deep-sea fishing boat.

Taiwan's billion-dollar fishing industry, which has one of the largest longline tuna fleets in the world, traditionally supports Tsai's ruling Democratic Progressive Party.

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