Reprimand Chinese Fishermen for Destroying Marine Environment in West Philippine Sea

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Target: Coral Triangle Initiative

Goal: Reprimand Chinese fishermen for destroying reefs near Pag-asa in the Philippines.

The marine environment of Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea was destroyed recently by a flock of twenty Chinese fishing boats. Using booms and winches, fishermen hacked chunks of coral out of the reef’s most abundant section and also caged hordes of marine turtles. The fishermen had seemingly congregated in Philippine waters to wait out rough weather. Their acts devastated one of Asia’s most fragile marine environments and cannot go unanswered for.

In speaking on this outrage, Fernando Hicap, head of the National Federation of Small Fisherfolk Organization in the Philippines termed the incident as an “arrogant act of the Chinese government” and deemed it a “wholesale attack on the collective sovereignty and national patrimony of nearly 100 million Filipinos.” Indeed, the Chinese government did nothing to warn the Chinese fishermen that they were in the wrong and giving the fishermen free reign to destroy the reefs and harvest turtles has only complicated the battle the Philippines has had to fight to maintain jurisdiction over its marine boundaries.

In order to conserve and restore its marine resources, the Philippines has united with The Coral Triangle Initiative, an organization formed of six Asian countries whose governments advocate for marine ecosystem protection and management. The Coral Triangle Initiative has the ability to help China’s government realize the impact of these vicious acts. Tell the Initiative to pressure China to punish these fishermen and create legislation that will prevent any similar incidents in the future.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Coral Triangle Initiative,

Throughout the last week of July, the marine environment of Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea was destroyed by Chinese fishermen. The amount of coral and marine turtles that were taken from Pag-asa Island’s most abundant reef filled twenty fishing vessels. The fishermen ignored municipal officials’ pleas to stop their harmful acts and must be reprimanded for the great damage they inflicted on the struggling marine ecosystem of the Philippines.

Fernando Hicap, head of the National Federation of Small Fisherfolk Organization in the Philippines termed the incident as an “arrogant act of the Chinese government” and deemed it a “wholesale attack on the collective sovereignty and national patrimony of nearly 100 million Filipinos.” Indeed, the Chinese government gave the fishermen free reign to destroy the reefs and harvest turtles.

As the alliance for marine conservation in the Coral Triangle region, you have the power to reprimand China’s government for encouraging the damaging behavior of its fishermen and can pressure China to create legislation that will penalize fishermen for violating safe fishing practices and fishing within the boundaries of other countries. Please take action now to ensure that this tragic incident is accounted for and prevent future acts of aggression toward the marine ecosystems within the Coral Triangle Region.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Google Images

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