The Chinese government is destroying coral reef ecosystems in an effort to claim virtually all of the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) as its territory, while Chinese fisherman have been purposely destroying coral reefs in an effort to poach endangered giant clams off the coast of the Spratly Islands in Philippine waters, according to a BBC News report.
The BBC’s Rupert Wingfield-Hayes flew out to the disputed islands on a tip that the Chinese were destroying the reefs. When he arrived, he filmed Chinese fishermen chaining their boats to the reefs and then literally pulling the reefs apart. Wingfield-Hayes then dove under the water to survey the reefs and was appalled by what he witnessed. Complete and total destruction is what he said occurred. “It is just like a desert. It has been turned into a desert underneath here.”
“This place had once been a rich coral ecosystem. Now the sea floor was covered in a thick layer of debris, millions of smashed fragments of coral, white and dead like bits of bone, Wingfield-Hayes said in his report. “I swam on and on. In every direction the destruction stretched for hundreds of metres, piles and piles of shattered white coral branches. It seemed so illogical. Why would fishermen, even poachers, destroy a whole coral system like this?” Why? Because the Chinese can and disregards all laws with regard to the sea. The Philippine government sued China in the UN Courts in an effort to stop the building of fake islands that China thinks will bolster their claim of all the ocean in the so-called 9 dash line. The UN has agreed to hear the claim, but China still wishes to bully its weaker neighbors and it is doing so successfully, at expense to sensitive ecosystems in the region. The coral reef habitats are now fair game for destruction throughout virtually all of the South China Sea.