Watch: Filipino Fishermen Harassed By Chinese Coast Guard Near Scarborough Shoal

According to reports, Chinese forces harassed Filipino fishermen, escalating already high levels of tension in the area near Scarborough Shoal. The incident occurred inside the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) close to the shoal’s southeast entrance, also called Bajo de Masinloc. Fisherman Jack Tabat from the Philippines stated that a rubber boat with five China Coast Guard personnel approached their boat, and they were told to return seashells taken from the coral reef.

The Chinese staff asked the fishermen to put the shells back in the ocean before they could depart, according to reports. Tabat disclosed that a coastguard member clung to the fishermen’s boat to keep them from fleeing as four others dismounted to pursue them on the reef. The harassment has been verified by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), who have traced the source of videos that were posted online. The PCG’s Commodore Jay Tarriela said they are now getting sworn statements from the parties involved.


Video Credits: Rappler/YouTube

This latest incident is a continuation of an ongoing conflict that began in 2012 when the Philippine Coast Guard made an effort to halt a Chinese illegal fishing operation close to Scarborough Shoal. As a result of the growing tension, there was a brief trade war, and the China Coast Guard erected a semi-permanent blockade to keep Philippine ships out of the region. Philippine officials denounced Chinese forces for erecting a rope line across the shoal’s only entry last year.

Despite an international tribunal’s decision to reject China’s claims, the Scarborough Shoal remains a problematic flashpoint where the country asserts its supremacy in the South China Sea. To bolster its claims to territory, Beijing built militarised manufactured islands and is still using vessels to patrol the area. To collect more testimonies from the impacted fishermen, the PCG waits for the fishing vessel involved in the latest incident to return.

Reference: Global Nation

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Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

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