The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said the government "has decided to expand the area of fishing around the country's five westernmost islands by 81 square kilometers to help increase the income of fishermen on those islands, who are struggling against illegal fishing by Chinese ships."
An earlier report from the ministry said over 2,000 Chinese fishing boats operate in the shared fishing zone between South Korea and China in the Yellow Sea with some 300 Chinese ships entering South Korea's territorial waters illegally on a daily basis, reports YonhapNewsAgency.
In 2012 alone, nearly 470 Chinese fishing boats were seized after they encroached South Korean waters.
The proposed expansion of the fishing area will likely become effective before the end of March, just before the start of crab season, according to the ministry.
The expansion will bring the total area for fishing from the current 1,519 square kilometers to 1,600 square kilometers.