Palau is an archipelago in Micronesia on the continent of Oceania. It has about 21,000 inhabitants. But the Dwarf Republic is on its way. Palau detained a Chinese ship allegedly fishing sea cucumbers from forbidden waters. The archipelago has also annoyed Beijing in the past because of its good relations with Taiwan, which sees China as a province and not an independent state.
The Chinese fishing vessel had 28 crew on board. They are now being held in Palau, triggering a diplomatic incident. According to Palau, the Chinese were illegally retrieving sea cucumbers from Helen Reef in the archipelago’s territorial waters. “We estimate that they had 225 kilos of sea cucumber on their boat”, it sounds.
Sea cucumbers are invertebrate, sausage-like sea creatures, which are blunt front and rear. They are edible and are used in Portuguese and Asian cuisine. Harvesting it is lucrative. The price on the Asian market can reach more than $670 per kilo.
In recent years, Chinese fishers have been shifting further and further into the Pacific to fish new waters. It is the first time that a Chinese crew has been arrested in the territorial waters of Palau.
The entire Chinese crew, along with the 19-man crew of the patrol boat that caught them, must now be quarantined.
Palau is one of the few places on our planet that is corona free. The archipelago has not yet decided whether to sue the Chinese. “We also don’t want them here with us longer than necessary,” the government says. China has not yet responded to the incident.