PCG confirms "extensive damage" in marine ecosystem, coral reef in WPS
PCG confirms "extensive damage" in marine ecosystem, coral reef in WPS
PCG confirms "extensive damage" in marine ecosystem, coral reef in WPS
by Ellicia Del Mundo18 September 2023
Screengrab from Jay Tarriela video / Twitter

The marine ecosystem and coral reef in the areas frequently swarmed by Chinese vessels in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) were extensively damaged, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) confirmed on Monday, September 18.

In a statement posted on his Twitter account, PCG spokesperson for WPS Jay Tarriela said the PCG launched underwater surveys in both Rozul Reef and Escoda shoal where 33 Chinese maritime militias (CMM) were spotted from August 9 to September 11.

"The results of these surveys showed that the marine ecosystem in the subject WPS features appeared lifeless, with minimal to no signs of life," he said.

"Moreover, the surveys conducted in Escoda Shoal revealed visible discoloration of its seabed, strongly indicating that deliberate activities may have been undertaken to modify the natural topography of its underwater terrain," Tarriela added.


According to the PCG spokesperson, the crushed corals "strongly suggest" that a possible dumping occurred.

Tarriela said it was the CMM vessels that "may have directly caused the degradation and destruction of the marine environment" given that they continue to conduct "illegal and destructive fishing activities" in the aforementioned areas within the WPS.

"The PCG emphasizes the importance of protecting and preserving our marine environment, which plays a crucial role in sustaining marine life and supporting local communities," he stressed.

The PCG spokesperson then posted a video captured during the agency's underwater surveys.


On Saturday, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos reported that there have been a massive coral harvesting in Rozul Reef which is located within the WPS.

In a news forum, he said 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," Carlos added.

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