MANILA, Philippines – Illegal fishing activities of the Chinese and Vietnamese in the West Philippine Sea have caused alarm with Filipino fishermen residing in the area.
According to a report, the foreigners have been seen fishing near Pagasa Island which lies in the disputed waters.
The Filipino fishermen would chase or warn illegal fishers away but their activities have already destroyed the natural ecosystem and physical makeup of the coral reefs around the island.
“They are engaged in blast or dynamite fishing. They also use cyanide … This leads to a drop in the fish catch or incomes of our own fishermen,” Pagasa Island administrator Mary Joy Batiancila said.
Batiancila added that the resident fisherfolk are willing to defend their fishing ground against illegal fishers and intruders.
“We cannot perform arrests against them even though we have the maritime police with us. We do not have facilities and transportation to stand against them,” Batiancila noted.
All the local authority could do was to chase away the illegal fishermen.