Taiwan fishing boats that anchor abroad set to be quarantined

Crews on deep-sea fishing boats that have anchored off other nations or engaged in improper interactions during the Covid-19 pandemic will be subject to a 14-day quarantine on their vessel when they return to Taiwan, effective immediately, Fisheries Agency Director-General Chang Chih-sheng has said.

Crew members of deep-sea fishing vessels and near-sea tuna fishing boats operating in waters between Taiwan and Japan, who are mostly migrant fishers, would be covered by the new regulation as part of the government’s efforts to prevent the spread of the Covid-19.

Deep-sea fishing vessels have been targeted because they spend more time operating in waters far from Taiwan, while tuna fishing boats have been included because a large number of Taiwanese ships are engaged in the trade as the peak season approaches, he said.

Vessels in the two categories that did not visit ports in other nations, did not interact with other ships, did not change their crew and were not inspected by foreign officials in the 30 days prior to their return to Taiwan will be excluded from the measure, Chang said.

There are 9,680 migrant workers – 7,526 from Indonesia, 1,436 from the Philippines, 690 from Vietnam and 28 from Thailand — employed on Taiwanese fishing vessels, agency data showed. There are also 799 Chinese fishers working onboard Taiwanese vessels.

New migrant workers scheduled to begin working on Taiwanese fishing vessels would undergo a 14-day quarantine upon arriving in Taiwan, as with all arriving foreign nationals, in line with Central Epidemic Commander Centre regulations, Chang said.