South China Sea claimants urged to ‘set aside’ row for environment’s sake

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MANILA – Sovereignty issues in the South China Sea should be set aside to protect the environment, as years of unregulated fishing and China’s recent island-building caused fish catch to drop, an analyst said Friday.

Over 160 square kilometers of coral reefs were “severely damaged or destroyed” due to “giant clam harvesting, dredging, and artificial island building,” a 2017 report from the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative said.

“All countries should set aside for the time-being arguments over sovereignty and argument over the limitations of their maritime claims and economic shelf because under international law, you have the obligation to protect the environment and fish even when disputes are outstanding,” AMTI Director Gregory Poling said.

http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/02/02/18/south-china-sea-claimants-urged-to-set-aside-row-for-environments-sake

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