Maritime expert: PH must stop China fishers from wrecking Panatag reefs
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If the Philippine government does not stop Chinese clam harvesters from destroying the reefs at Panatag Shoal, China would reclaim land on what is left of the shoal and transform it into another artificial island, a maritime law expert said on Tuesday. Jay Batongbacal, director of University of the Philippines Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, said Chinese fishermen had been using propellers mounted on small boats to break coral and dig into the shoal’s lagoon to gather giant clams since 2012. A damaged reef would render the shoal useless, “and then China will just say, ‘Oh, the reef is dead. Let’s just convert it into an island,’” Batongbacal said.
Cardinoza, G., & Aning, J. (2018 June 21). Maritime expert: PH must stop China fishers from wrecking Panatag reefs. Philippine Daily Inquirer, p. A5.
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Fishers; Governments; Wrecks; Reefs; Artificial islands; Law of the sea; International law; Territorial waters; Philippine Coast Guard (PCG); University of the Philippines Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea; Philippine Navy; Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague; Batongbacal, Jay; Legaspi, Jowe; Alejano, Gary