PHL-flagged vessels intentionally rammed by China, more illegal activities reported

Three Philippine-flagged fishing vessels, namely F/V OG BARBIE, F/V OCEAN GLORY 2 and F/V ANA MARIE, were intentionally rammed by Chinese Coast Guard Vessel 3412 on 29 January 2015 in Bajo de Masinloc, the Department of Foreign Affairs said.

The attack caused damage to the vessels which endangered the lives and safety of the Filipino fishermen on board. The Philippines government strongly protested to representatives of the Chinese Embassy in Manila China’s continuing actions to harass and prevent Filipino fishermen from legitimately pursuing their livelihood.

Philippine Coast Guard also reported another destructive and illegal activity of Chinese vessels. On 22 January 2015, at least twenty-four Chinese Utility Boats were seen collecting giant clams in the lagoon of Bajo de Masinloc. Chinese fishing vessels were likewise spotted transporting collected giant clams to other CFVs.

The DFA added that China’s toleration and active support for the environmentally harmful fishing practices by its nationals at Bajo de Masinloc constitute breaches of its obligations under UNCLOS, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.