SEJONG-- The South Korean government said Monday it has captured three Chinese boats for fishing in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in waters off Jeju Island in violation of local regulations.

The Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans said the Chinese vessels were held while fishing in waters 64 kilometers southwest of Jeju Island with nets finer than the local standard, which requires net's mesh pore size to be over 50 millimeters.

The boats were allowed to fish in the Korean waters, but they used 40 mm-pore size nets to catch younger croackers, the ministry said.

They will be prohibited from fishing in the zone for 30 days and subject to punishment. Those caught for illegal fishing can face up to 200 million won (US$183,570) in fines under local regulations.

The ministry said it will beef up monitoring on illegal fishing in southern waters during the peak croacker fishing season.

Source: Yonhap News Agency