China's most destructive boats still attacking Scarborough
The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative-Center for Strategic and International Studies (AMTI-CSIS) said “Fleets of Chinese vessels have returned to disputed areas in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) to harvest endangered giant clams.”
Vessels - dozens of small fishing boats, often referred to as the most destructive boats in China, are defined as large fishing vessels that are arranged along with larger ye motherhoods “and devastate the giant oyster areas transported to Hainan to handle the destruction and sculpture of large coral reefs.
Following an arbitration award that China has violated international obligations, its activities fell sharply from 2016 to late 2018. However, the AMTI-CSIS said “satellite imagery has shown these fleets operating frequently at Scarborough Shoal (Panatag Islands) and throughout the Paracels, including at Bombay Reef ” that before the end of last year.
AMTI-CMSS said, “This appears to be an adaptation of a tactic employed by salvagers whereby a high-pressure pump creates enough suction to remove sediment from the seabed,” and “it is clear that Chinese authorities are aware of and condoning these environmentally destructive practices.”
“That suggests that for every clam harvesting operation that is documented in the South China Sea, others will go unnoticed. But with tens of thousands of acres of reef surface already damaged or destroyed and fish stocks teetering on the brink of collapse, the effects of this wanton destruction of the marine environment will be felt across the region.”