Unique agreement

CHINA and the US have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to enforce the UN ban on drift-net fishing in the North Pacific. The MOU is the first of its kind since the ban came into force on January 1, 1993. China has agreed to allow the US coast guard to board Chinese fishing vessels if it suspects drift-net fishing. In return, Chinese fishing officials will be allowed to ride on US vessels engaged in the monitoring programme.

However, the US officials have no power to act and can only notify the Chinese authorities if they find evidence of drift-net fishing. China will have to prosecute the offender and notify the US about any action taken.

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