SA loob lamang ng apat na taon ay may mahigit 500 ektarya ng coral reefs ang napinsala sa mga aktibidad ng Tsina sa West Philippine Sea.
Sinabi ni Jay Batongbacal, Director ng University of the Philippines Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, nakita sa satellite imagery na mahigit 500 ektarya ng Scarborough Shoal ang napinsala mula 2012 hanggang 2016.
Aniya, ang malawakang coral destruction sa West Philippine Sea “has been on-going for quite some time.”
“But the thing is, “due to the arbitration having come out under a ‘friendly’ administration in 2016, China has never really been called to account for the destruction it caused with this massive island building spree and then all subsequent destructive fishing activities that it allowed to continue thereafter,” ani Batongbacal.
Isa pang dahilan ng pagkapinsala ay ang maritime militia na naka-angkla sa reefs o sa mga bahura.
“You do not anchor on coral reefs in massive numbers without causing some kind of destruction.
The mere presence of your vessel can already destroy these sensitive reefs,” winika ni Batongbacal sa isang forum na inorganisa ng Stratbase ADR Institute.
Samantala, patuloy ang pagbibilang ni Batongbakal sa halaga na nawala sa Pilipinas dahil sa naturang pinsala.
“We need to show that. We need to bring that up and show as well that the destruction continues.
The clam digging activities were even documented as late as 2021. And we know that they have been reported as occurring still even though they might have been reduced in volume simply because there’s no more coral to destroy,” ani Batongbakal.