Satellite imagery from Karagatan Patrol show the number of increasing foreign vessels entering Philippine exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine Sea.
Karagatan Patrol
Satellite imagery shows foreign vessels getting near Philippine coastline
Patricia Lourdes Viray ( - July 4, 2019 - 10:43am

MANILA, Philippines — Foreign vessels entering the Philippine exclusive economic zone have been moving closer to the country's coastline.

Satellite imagery released by Karagatan Patrol showed that from 2016 to 2018, foreign vessels entering Philippine EEZ have been getting near coastlines of provinces facing the West Philippine Sea.

"Industrial, commerical scale, exploitation on our EEZ are nearing the coastline... Lumalapit sila dito dahil scarce na 'yung resources nila," Karagatan Patrol coordinator Jessie Floren told reporters, as reported by ABS-CBN News.

The group released satellite photos from April 2012 to April 2019, which also showed that the number of foreign vessels entering Philippine waters has increased in the past years.

The images were based on data from Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), which detected lights of boats.

Karagatan Patrol, however, clarified that this system cannot detect which country the marine vessels came from.

Based on reports from the Philippine navy and coast guard, the foreign fishing vessels might have come from Vietnam, Taiwan and China.

Earlier this year, Washington-based Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative released a report which found that satellite, radar and infrared images showed an alarming increase of foreign vessels in the West Philippine Sea.

This report released by AMTI in January showed that Chinese fishing vessels comprise the largest number of ships operating in the Spratly Islands, particularly in the lagoons at Subi and Mischief Reefs.

The US think tank used the VIIRS technology, in addition to the Synthetic Radar, in monitoring fishing activity in the area.

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