Filipino fisherfolks asks PH gov’t to defy Chinese fishing ban in WPS
Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA), a group of Filipino fishermen, said China has no right to declare a fishing ban in West Philippine Sea (WPS).
In a statement, PAMALAKAYA said the Chinese government has no moral ascendancy to make such decision “in the guise of conserving fish stocks in marine waters that they have no any legal claim and they have massively destroyed through reclamation activities”.
To recall, China has placed a fishing ban in the WPS or South China Sea, which should last until August 16.
Part of its annual summer fishing ban to “conserve fish stocks”, Beijing vows to “arrest illegal fishers from Vietnam and Philippines”.
The three-and-a-half-month fishing ban covers the Paracel Islands and Scarborough Shoal, parts of the South China Sea that Vietnam and Philippines also claim.
PAMALAKAYA took note that the international tribunal based in The Hague has already favored Philippines’ claim over the Scarborough Shoal, and other parts of the Spratly Islands being occupied by China.
“The audacity of China to accuse Filipinos and Vietnamese fishermen as ‘illegal fishers’, when they are actually the ones engaged in massive illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing in our seas,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.
“The Philippine government should not waste time and wait until our own fishermen are apprehended by Chinese maritime enforcers. It should publicly condemn and protest this another Chinese bullying straight away. We have international and local fisheries laws with us that can be enforced to counter China’s aggression,” he added.