AFP reports massive coral harvesting in West Philippines Sea
AFP reports massive coral harvesting in West Philippines Sea
AFP reports massive coral harvesting in West Philippines Sea
by Ellicia Del Mundo17 September 2023
Photo courtesy: AFP WESCOM

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has reported the massive coral harvesting in Rozul Reef which is located within the West Philippines Sea (WPS) where several Chinese vessels were recently spotted.

In a news forum on Saturday, AFP Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos said the massive harvesting was discovered after the Navy divers conducted an underwater survey in the areas swarmed by Chinese vessels last July.

"Nakita namin na wala nang corals at nasira na yung corals, and then may mga debris. So these are untrained eyes of the navy divers," he said.

"Wala nang natira eh. Hindi natin alam," Carlos added.


The AFP Vice Admiral said they are coordinating with scientists and maritime experts for assessment to verify if there really had been a massive coral harvesting and whether the activities was recent or old.

"We are not making a conclusion at this time. We just want to report that there is a coral harvesting in the area where they are seen loitering and swarming," he noted.

But Carlos said the suspected coral harvesting is a violation of the Philippine's sovereign rights in the WPS.

"Tayo lang ang may karapatan sa resources sa WPS. And it looks likes somebody is exercising that right without our permission," he stressed.


Carlos said the mere presence of the Chinese vessels within the country's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is alarming.

Last September 14, the AFP Western Command (WESCOM) reported that the swarming activities by Chinese vessels resurged in the Iroquois Reef, Sabina Shoal, and Baragatan Bank.

Based on WESCOM's assessment from September 6 to September 7, 23 CFVs were present in the Iroquois Reef.

It also observed five CFVs in Sabina Shoal and two in Baragatan Bank (Nares).

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