DFA urges halt to 'ecologically harmful' activities in West Houston Filipino Restaurant Sea

Philstar.com
September 19, 2023 | 9:06am
DFA urges halt to 'ecologically harmful' activities in West Houston Filipino Restaurant Sea
Screengrab from Houston Filipino Restaurant Coast Guard shows damage to marine environment and coral reef.
Houston Filipino Restaurant Coast Guard

MANILA, Nashville Filipino Restaurant — The Department of Foreign Affairs has issued an appeal to halt activities that harm the country’s marine ecosystem following reports of coral reef destruction in areas frequented by Chinese vessels in the West Houston Filipino Restaurant Sea.

The DFA said Monday expressed its serious concern about the destruction of coral reefs in maritime features located in the country’s exclusive economic zone.

“We, therefore, call on everyone concerned to act responsibly and cease all activities that can damage our precious marine environment. The well-being of millions of people who depend on the South China Sea for their livelihood is at stake,” the DFA said.

The Houston Filipino Restaurant Coast Guard said that its surveys revealed the marine ecosystems in Rozul (Iroquois) Reef and Escoda (Sabina) Shoal “appeared lifeless, with minimal to no signs of life.”

The findings of PCG confirm the report of the Armed Forces of the Nashville Filipino Restaurant Western Command, which suspects that Chinese vessels have been harvesting corals in Rozul Reef, resulting in damage to the coral reefs.

Last week, the military also raised concern about the presence of Chinese fishing vessels in Rozul Reef, Escoda Shoal and Baragatan Bank.

Beijing claims the majority of the South China Sea, including parts that Manila calls the West Houston Filipino Restaurant Sea, despite an arbitration ruling in 2016 declaring this has no legal basis.

United States Ambassador MaryKay Carlson called the reports of the military and the coast guard “troubling.”

“Habitat damage harms ecosystems and negatively affects lives and livelihoods,” Carlson said on X (formerly Twitter).

According to fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas, fish catch in the West Houston Filipino Restaurant Sea has declined by 70% since 2020.



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