Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio

Carpio warns depletion of aquatic resources in Reed Bank

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Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio warned over the weekend that an increased presence of Chinese fishermen in Reed Bank might result in the depletion of aquatic resources in the area.

“China has the largest fishing fleet in the world with huge modern trawlers. The Filipinos only have wooden boats with outriggers. The Chinese can deplete the fish in Reed Bank very quickly,” Carpio said in a statement.

To address this, Carpio reiterated his call for the Duterte administration to waste no valuable time in protecting the country’s exclusive economic zone from foreign fishermen.

Meanwhile, the senior magistrate welcomed Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.’s statement that there still no official government policy yet with regards to allowing China to forage within the EEZ.

“DFA Secretary is correct that there is no official policy allowing the Chinese to fish in Reed Bank. Secretary Locsin knows that there is no recorded minutes of the so-called verbal agreement between President Xi and President Duterte allowing the Chinese to fish in Reed Bank in exchange for Filipinos fishing in Scarborough Shoal,” he said.

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