IBA, Zambales, Philippines – The governor of this province has ordered the dismantling of buoys with Chinese markings found near Panatag or Scarborough Shoal.
“For safety reasons, I ordered the removal of these booms from the shore since they might slam into houses and properties during powerful waves and strong winds brought by inclement weather,” Zambales Gov. Hermogenes Ebdane told The STAR.
The governor said big waves could rip the buoys from their chain.
Filipino fishermen found three lengthy containment booms some 92 kilometers away from Cabangan town on July 25. They said they used a crane to tow the buoys to shore.
Ebdane said the containment booms would be given to the nine fishermen who found them.
“We cannot establish who owns these devices unless they claim ownership and present proof, “ he said.
The Chinese markings on the buoys, which are used to mark boundaries or serve as barriers during oil spills, reportedly show the company that manufactured it and a telephone number.
Some fishermen said they have seen similar buoys near the disputed shoal, also known as Bajo de Masinloc.
The shoal is located 124 nautical miles from the nearest point in Zambales.
The discovery of the buoys came as China continues to assert its claim over almost the entire West Philippine Sea.
China has also embarked on massive reclamation activities in the area.
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