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A post circulating online by a netizen Victor Asero showed a huge stockpile of clams in what appeared to be a yard in Tan Men, Hainan province China as exposed by a concerned Chinese citizen. There’s been a surprising resurgence of clam harvesting in the West Philippine Sea as this has since been covered by the BBC many years back and of course the Philippine government protested heavily against this. In fact, their stance was pretty direct and simple. China’s toleration of, and active support for, the environmentally harmful fishing practices by its nationals at Bajo de Masinloc constitute breaches of its obligations under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
This statement coincides with the recent report from the ABS CBN News (April 15, 2019) about Chinese fishermen illegally harvesting giant clams in the West Philippine Sea.
Why does it matter to you?
Many of these clams were located in areas near critical coral reef systems so the problem is not only with the massive harvesting operations but on how these clams were actually being taken. In fact, as shown on a documentary broadcasted by BBC News last 2015. It showed that Chinese ships actually used their boat engines to haul off and dig out giant clams whilst destroying large areas of critical coral reef systems. The ultimate result would be much less and less fish-catch until the environmental damage could become completely irreversible which will surely take its toll on the Philippine economy.
Concerned Chinese netizen
In a post by Victor Asero. He uploaded the following photos as shared to him by a concerned Chinese netizen who bared the extent of the massive clam harvesting efforts undertaken by the Chinese since many years ago. He also mentioned that during the height of the PCA memorial filed by the Philippine govt under Aquino against China somewhere in 2015 hampered the clam harvesting operations and slowed them down significantly. However, in 2016 onwards. As evident to these photos and documentary videos published by ABS CBN. It showed that Chinese poachers has since ramped up their operations by harvesting this much clams out plucked out from our own seas and bringing them over to mainland China where it gets used for commercial purposes for the benefit of the Chinese people.
Here’s the conversation between the two where he mentioned that the clam harvesting operation slowed down in 2014-2015. Which is exactly the same time when the Aquino government filed the memorial against China in the PCA prompting them to do lessen their aggressive poaching activities in the region for some time until Duterte assumed the Presidency where everything suddenly changed.
What is at stake if these massive clam-harvesting operations take place in the region unchecked by the Duterte government continues? Perhaps, as I’ve said earlier. It will be very costly to the Philippine economy and many Filipino fishermen will no longer have enough fish catch to earn with and of course, feed their family. The Chinese ‘environmental locusts’ took everything with them and our current President didn’t really care about it until it’s ‘election time’.
In this animated explainer below – you can see the economic damages of massive Chinese poaching in the West Philippine Sea posed and why it must be stopped.
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