Why Are Chinese Fishermen Destroying Coral Reefs in the South China Sea?

Good stewardship typically accompanies a sense of ownership – but greed can interfere and claims over ocean commons are difficult to enforce. A BBC News report by Rupert Wingfield-Hayes backed up claims from Filipino politicians, suggesting “that Chinese fishermen were deliberately destroying reefs near a group of Philippine-controlled atolls in the Spratly Islands.” The reporter describes reefs devastated by propellers, and observed fishermen targeting 1-meter-long clams that live under the reefs, some that could be more than a hundred years old. In recent years, the Philippines has charged Chinese fishermen with poaching endangered species while China counters that its sovereignty has been violated. Wingfield-Hayes concludes, ‘However shocking the reef plundering I witnessed, it is as nothing compared to the environmental destruction wrought by China's massive island building programme nearby.” The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled in October that it has jurisdiction to hear claims from the Philippines for disputed area of the South China Sea. – YaleGlobal

Why Are Chinese Fishermen Destroying Coral Reefs in the South China Sea?

BBC News report reports on devastated coral reefs in disputed section of South China Sea claimed by China and the Philippines
Rupert Wingfield-Hayes
Monday, February 1, 2016
Copyright © 2016 BBC.

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