Chinese Coast Guard installs 'floating barrier' at southeast of Bajo de Masinloc - PCG
Chinese Coast Guard installs 'floating barrier' at southeast of Bajo de Masinloc  - PCG
Chinese Coast Guard installs 'floating barrier' at southeast of Bajo de Masinloc - PCG
by Ellicia Del Mundo24 September 2023
Photo courtesy: Philippine Coast Guard / Facebook

The Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) has installed a 300-meter-long floating barrier at the southeast portion of Bajo de Masinloc (BDM) or also known as Scarborough Shoal, preventing Filipino fishing boats from entering and doing fishing activities, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea (WPS) Jay Tarriela reported on Sunday, September 24.

In a statement, Tarriela said PCG and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) personnel found the floating barrier during a routine maritime patrol on Friday, September 22.

“Three CCG’s Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs) and Chinese Maritime Militia’s service boat installed the floating barrier upon arrival of the BFAR vessel in the vicinity of the shoal,” he said.

The PCG spox for WPS added that Filipino fishermen have reported that CCG has been installing the floating barrier each time it monitored the arrival of Filipino fishing boats.

During the same maritime patrol, Tarriela said four CCG tried to drive away the BFAR vessel when it was distributing grocery items and fuel subsidies to more than 50 Filipino fishing vessels engaging in fishing activities in BDM.

The CCG reportedly issued 15 radio challenges, allegeding that “the BFAR vessel and Filipino fishermen violated international law and the domestic laws of the People's Republic of China.”

“The BFAR vessel responded to each and every radio calls and emphasized that they were carrying out a routine patrol within the territorial sea of BDM,” the PCG spokesperson for WPS said.

“Notably, upon realizing the presence of media personnel onboard the BFAR vessel, the CCG vessels maintained a safe distance and moved away,” he added.

Tariela assured that they are continuously working with concerned government agencies to address the challenges and uphold the country’s maritime rights and protect maritime domains.

The floating barrier was discovered a week after the reports of destruction in the marine ecosystem and coral reefs in Razul Reef and Escoda Shoal in the WPS where CCG vessels were previously spotted.

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