June 25, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

UP expert reports ‘ecological disaster’ in Sabina Shoal

A PROFESSOR of Biology from the University of the Philippines (UP) reported an “ecological disaster” is happening in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), particularly in Sabina Shoal due to the presence of Chinese vessels and climate change.

In a news forum in Quezon City on Saturday, Dr. Jonathan Anticamara from the UP Institute of Biology said, “there is extensive damage of corals underwater. That is (our) overall assessment,” said Dr. Anticamara.

The professor made a visual presentation of their survey in Sabina Shoal, also called Escoda Shoal, which he described as “completely dead”.

“So, ang nangyari sa Sabina ngayon ay medyo disastrous kasi marami sa mga foundation na species tawag natin corals or habitat-forming species are completely dead sa mga shallow waters,” he explained.

Dr. Anticamara said many of the animals that depend on the corals in the area are now gone.

“So for me, this is really local extinction. Ito iyong sinasabi natin na what the humanity is facing now is the greatest problem of humanity [which] is biodiversity lost. Extensive amount of species being lost,” he said.

“Sa case ng Escoda ngayon, ang consequence nito, nawawala napakadaming mga species ng isda, crabs, shrimps etcetera na-extinct sila locally,” he added.

Despite the presence of Chinese coast guard vessels, navy vessels, helicopters, hovercraft, speedboats, and militia boats, Dr. Anticamara said his group managed to survey almost half of the atoll.

“Sa ngayon iyong ginagawa nila ng mga militia na iyan. Pinapatauhan nila binabantayan nila. Iyong pag anchor noong lahat mga militia vessel na iyon nakakawasak ng coral iyon kasi doon a-angkla iyon sa coral, ‘di sira iyong immediate impact area noong anchor. Tapos, tanikala noong anchor habang nakalutang siyempre iyong barko, umiikot iyan kinakaladkad din iyong coral sa ilalim parang inaararo iyan, so damage na naman iyan.” he said.

Also, the ships anchored closely together block the sunlight needed by the corals, resulting in their gradual death and destruction.

The Chinese do not care about environmental sensitivities, said Anticamara, noting their practice is so destructive.