Illegal fishing activities have recently made another victim. A South Korean officer was stabbed to death while he was trying to prevent a group of Chinese fishermen from fishing illegally 55 miles (90km) far from Socheong Island.
This is one of the most recent tragic events, part of a large series of similar incidents that occur every year, because resources are scarce and the fish demand is increasing worldwide, especially in China, the Guardian
Reduced stock is the main motive that drives Chinese fishermen to fish in foreign water, despite that people behind such operations risk spending time in jail or even losing their lives.
It appears that the Chinese captain of the fishing boat is responsible for the conflict. The South Korean officer was fatally stabbed in the stomach while trying to confiscate the vessel and another co-worker was also harmed during the operations. A helicopter took the victims to the nearest hospital in Incheon.
Other eight members of the Chinese crew have been taken into custody. Despite that there is a legal framework aiming to protect marine resources, illegal fishing operation flourish, since all nations have intensified efforts to get their hands on large quantities of mackerel, jellyfish and blue crab.
Under these circumstances, Seoul increased fines for foreign boats that refuse to comply with the current regulations. Moreover, they are trying to change the legislation, so that illegal catches could be confiscated.
The disturbing incident captured the attention of Chinese and South Korean diplomats. As a response to this new conflict, authorities will scale efforts to preserve the balance of Yellow Sea, one of the hottest spots for illegal fishing operations, due to its unique economical potential.
It seems that they have recorded a dangerous trend, since they managed to identify and seize no less than 470 Chinese ships trespassing in this area only this year, compared to 370 actions of this kind developed in 2010.
Chinese fishermen are no strangers to violence, since earlier this year, in March, one of them was shot in the foot by a coastguard officer during a bloody fight that involved axes and shovels.
Authorities say it is hard to annihilate such damaging operations, both for the marine ecosystem and for the health and profit margins of fishermen, because the competition is biting, resources are scarce and foreign waters appear to be an immeasurable temptation.