South Korea and China have agreed on a bilateral fishing pact extending Korea's fishing rights effective from June 30, Korea's Ministry of Maritime Affairs & Fisheries said on Friday.
Korea said the agreement was reached in Beijing, ending talks that began in December 1993.
China agreed to allow 1,402 Korean fishing vessels to catch up to 60,000 metric tons of fish per year by the end of next year in its exclusive economic zone, the ministry said. The allowed catch would be similar to Korea's past fishing record.
Under the terms, Only 2,796 Chinese vessels would be allowed to catch up to 109,600 metric tons of fish per year by end 2002 in Korea's exclusive economic zone, sharply down from Chinese past fishing record.
It was reported that approximately 12,000 Chinese fishing vessels used
to catch 440,000 metric tons of fish per year in Korea's exclusive economic zone.
The reduction in Chinese fishing activities in the Korean zone is expected to increase Korea's annual fishing revenues by over 300 billion won ($222.7 million), Korea said.
From January 1, 2005, the two nations will allow the same number of fishing vessels to catch the same volume in each other's exclusive zones, the ministry said.