Fishermen urge more protection
BOTH Chinese and Hong Kong governments should enhance co-operation in combatting piracy in local waters, chairman of the New Territories Fishermen Fraternity Association So Moon-cheung said yesterday.
''I've heard of five or six incidents that local fishing vessels were robbed by mainlanders since October this year,'' he said.
''But there were only about two or three such robberies in the earlier months this year.'' Mr So said he also found that the pirates were getting wilder.
''They used to just steal motors from the vessels,'' he said. ''But now they like getting on board fishing boats and robbing valuables, and they usually have guns.'' Mr So said the waters around Tolo Harbour, Mirs Bay, Tap Mun and Sai Kung were now very dangerous.
''Fishermen should avoid going out at night and should never go alone,'' he said.
He urged the Marine Police to step up patrols, especially around the danger spots.
Mr So said the Chinese Government should also check vessels in its waters to see if they were actually doing the business they claimed to be doing.
However, Hong Kong Deputy Secretary for Security James Morris said the Government had no plans to issue any kind of special warning to fishermen operating in Hong Kong's territorial waters.
''We have armed robberies all the time in Hong Kong, this one just happened at sea. I can't recall the last time we had an incident like this - it is not a major problem,'' Mr Morris said.
Mr So said fishermen usually did not report to the police after they were robbed.
But he urged them to start doing so to help the police crack down on the pirates.