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Fishermen still afraid to fish at Scarborough Shoal


Several Filipino fishermen in Mariveles, Bataan are still afraid to fish at Scarborough Shoal due to China's implementation of a fishing ban in the West Philippine Sea.

"Mahirap 'yan doon baka mabaril ka ng water gun doon [we might get shot by a water gun]," Gilbert Dagon said in JP Soriano's report on "24 Oras Weekend" on Sunday.

Due to this this, some of the fishermen have decided to fish in other areas such as in Mindoro.

Last week, Malacañang said Filipino fisherfolk should continue fishing in the West Philippine Sea despite China's implementation of a fishing ban in the area.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque made the position two days after the Philippines protested China's fishing ban from May 1 to August 16, with the Department of Foreign Affairs saying Beijing’s fishing moratorium “extends far beyond legitimate maritime entitlements under  United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS) and is without basis under international law.”

The DFA also said that the unilateral policy infringes on the country’s sovereignty over its waters.

Manila said it does not recognize China’s fishing moratorium as it covers waters in areas where the Philippines exercises” sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction.”

China's fishing ban came almost two years after the June 2019 incident of a Chinese fishing vessel ramming Philippine fishing boat Gem-Ver 1 in Reed Bank, an area within the country's exclusive economic zone as ruled by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in July 2016. The Chinese vessel left the fishermen trying to stay afloat in the sea for hours until they were rescued by a Vietnamese boat. — Ma. Angelica Garcia/BM, GMA News

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