Chinese boat damaged Philippine reef: marine official

A Chinese fishing vessel that crashed into one of the Philippines' most famous reefs damaged almost 4,000 square metres of centuries-old coral, the marine park said on Saturday.

Some 3,902 square metres (42,000 square feet) of coral was destroyed after the boat became stranded in the Tubbataha marine park -- a UNESCO World Heritage-listed coral reef -- the park management said.

"The damage the Chinese vessel caused to the reef is heart-breaking," Angelique Songco, the head of the marine park said in a statement after experts assessed the affected area.

Some of the coral destroyed by the Chinese vessel was 500 years old, Songco said, adding that the damage was much larger than the area destroyed when a US Navy minesweeper, the USS Guardian, got stranded on Tubbataha in January.

The 48-metre (157-foot) vessel, carrying 12 suspected Chinese fishermen, plowed into the Tubbataha Reef near the western island of Palawan on April 8.

Authorities later found hundreds of dead pangolins, an internationally-protected species, hidden inside the vessel.

Tubbataha marine park information officer Glenda Simon told AFP the 12 Chinese would likely be fined about 95 million pesos ($2.32 million) just for trespassing into the marine park and destroying the coral.

The government has already charged them with poaching and they could face an additional 12 to 20 years in jail for possession of the pangolins in violation of wildlife law.

Pangolins are widely hunted in parts of Asia for their meat, skin and scales and in China they are considered a delicacy and to have medicinal qualities.

The Philippine office of the World Wide Fund for Nature condemned the poaching of the pangolins after the men were caught, saying that growing demand in China was wiping the animal out in Southeast Asia.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Indonesia orders execution of Mary Jane, 9 others
    Indonesia orders execution of Mary Jane, 9 others

    Indonesia has ordered preparations for the execution of 10 drug convicts, including Filipina Mary Jane Veloso, as the Philippine government filed yesterday a second appeal for judicial review of the case to save the maid from death by firing squad. The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) of Indonesia released an official letter dated April 23, instructing prosecutors to prepare for the execution of 10 convicts, the Jakarta Post reported yesterday. The execution would be conducted after the …

  • Noy to visit Canada, Japan
    Noy to visit Canada, Japan

    President Aquino will embark on a state visit to Canada in May and Japan in June to meet with his counterparts and promote Philippine interests. Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Aquino accepted the invitation from Canadian Governor General David Johnston to make a state visit to Canada from May 7 to 9. Tied to this trip is the President’s one-day working visit to the United States to meet with potential investors and with the local Filipino community in Chicago, Valte …

  • Business groups back K to 12 program
    Business groups back K to 12 program

    The government’s K to 12 program adding two more years to basic education received support from various business groups yesterday. However, they urged relevant government agencies to deal with issues regarding the implementation of Republic Act 10533, the Enhanced Basic Education Act or K-12 Law. In a statement, business groups led by the Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) said RA 10533 is a milestone piece of legislation that intends to bring the Philippines up to par with the rest of …

  • Happiest nations: Phl ranks 90th
    Happiest nations: Phl ranks 90th

    Switzerland is the happiest country in the world, while the Philippines placed 90th, according to a global ranking of happiness unveiled in New York on Thursday. Switzerland was followed closely by Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Canada. The 2015 World Happiness Report is the third annual report seeking to quantify happiness as a means of influencing government policy. The United Nations published the first study in 2012. …

  • Asean leaders want binding sea code with China
    Asean leaders want binding sea code with China

    Southeast Asian leaders will seek to speed up plans for a binding code of conduct with China governing behavior in the disputed South China Sea at a summit next week, Malaysia’s foreign minister said Friday. Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said a massive flow of Muslim Rohingya refugees from Myanmar to neighboring countries will also be discussed at the two-day summit of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which starts Monday. Anifah said leaders are expected to raise concerns …

  • S&P keeps Phl investment grade rating
    S&P keeps Phl investment grade rating

    Standard & Poor’s yesterday kept its credit rating on the Philippines on expectations the country would be able to further improve its debt metrics. The country enjoys a “BBB” rating from the debt watcher with a stable outlook. The grade, awarded to the Philippines in May last year, is a notch above the minimum investment grade (BBB-). S&P said the Philippines’ external position should remain strong with increasing foreign exchange reserves and low external debt burden. …

  • GMA takes bail plea to SC
    GMA takes bail plea to SC

    Detained former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has elevated to the Supreme Court (SC) her plea to be allowed to post bail in her remaining plunder case that was rejected by the Sandiganbayan. In a 38-page petition filed last Thursday afternoon, Arroyo cited her deteriorating health in asking the high court to reverse the rulings of the Sandiganbayan’s first division in October last year and last February denying her bail motion in the case involving the P366-million Philippine Charity …

  • Mild quake hits Surigao
    Mild quake hits Surigao

    A magnitude 3.2 earthquake hit parts of Surigao del Norte yesterday, but no damage or injury was reported, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options