About 200 ships still moored at West Philippine Sea, geo-analyst says


MANILA (2nd UPDATE) – Around 200 ships are still moored at West Philippine Sea, a geospatial intelligence firm bared Thursday, which the company said were likely the same fleet that were monitored over Julian Felipe Reef in March.

As of May 3, some 7 ships were only spotted over Julian Felipe Reef or Whitsun Reef, Simularity cofounder and CEO Liz Derr told ANC.

Julian Felipe Reef is a large boomerang-shaped shallow coral reef at the northeast of Pagkakaisa Banks and Reefs or Union Banks, a group of features under the jurisdiction of the Municipality of Kalayaan, Palawan.

Another 150 ships were also located about 9 nautical miles over Hughes Reef, which is part of the Union Banks, she added.

Derr said some 50 ships were also monitored over Gaven Reef, located about 3 nautical miles from the country’s exclusive economic zone.

“We’re looking at about 200 ships. We don’t have the flags for the ships at this point but they look very much [like] the ones we saw at Whitsun Reef. They are still in the Philippine EEZ,” she said.

“Almost all of them are moored. They don’t move… Just like they were at Whitsun Reef,” she added.

Derr did not specify where the vessels originated from but said the ships were similar to those spotted in Julian Felipe Reef, which were from China.