MANILA, Philippines — Filipino fishermen can still fish in the South China Sea despite China’s three-month fishing ban in the region, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said yesterday.
The DND chief, in a live interview over Channel 7’s Digital News late Tuesday afternoon, said Beijing’s fishing moratorium covers only their citizens.
“I don’t think (the moratorium) covers us because we also claim the area, so I think our fishermen can still go there,” Lorenzana said.
China had announced the fishing ban in the South China Sea to include waters within the Philippines’ 200-nautical exclusive economic zone starting the first week of this month.
Beijing’s yearly unilateral fishing ban is opposed by Vietnam as it covers the South China Sea, specifically in the Paracels, Spratlys, Panatag Shoal off the coast of Zambales and in the waters surrounding the Natuna island chain in Indonesia.
These areas are covered by China’s nine-dash line maritime and territorial claim – almost 90 percent of the South China Sea.