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Fishers group rejects Chinese ban at WPS

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The militant national fishers group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) on Monday denounced and rejected the Chinese fishing ban in the South China Sea that will run from May 1 to August 16, 2020.

“They have no right and moral ascendancy to declare a fishing ban in the guise of conserving fish stocks in marine waters that they have no any legal claim, and they have massively destroyed through reclamation activities,” said PAMALAKAYA in a statement.

Part of its annual summer fishing ban to “conserve fish stocks,” Beijing vows to “arrest illegal fishers from Vietnam and Philippines.”

The three-and-a-half-month fishing ban covers the Paracel Islands and Scarborough Shoal—parts of the South China Sea that Vietnam and Philippines also claim, they said.

PAMALAKAYA said the international tribunal based in The Hague has already favored Philippines’ claim over the Scarborough Shoal, and other parts of the Spratly Islands being occupied by China.  

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“The audacity of China to accuse Filipinos and Vietnamese fishermen as ‘illegal fishers’, when they are actually the ones engaged in massive illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing in our seas,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA national chairperson, said.

“The Philippine government should not waste time and wait until our own fishermen are apprehended by Chinese maritime enforcers. It should publicly condemn and protest this another Chinese bullying straight away. We have international and local fisheries laws with us that can be enforced to counter China’s aggression,” added Hicap. 

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