The Philippine government seeks to file new diplomatic protests against owners of foreign vessels for violating the country’s sovereign rights by continuing their presence in the West Philippine Sea. In the photo, the Philippine Coast Guard, as requested by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, conducts its monitoring and surveillance duties in the West Philippine Sea. (PNA file photo) ctto

The Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) is working closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to file new diplomatic protests against the continuous presence and activities of foreign vessels in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

In a statement, the DA-BFAR on Tuesday has expressed “serious concern” over the continuous presence of foreign vessels conducting fishing operations in the WPS.

It said Chinese Maritime Militia vessels had been monitored in big numbers in the WPS, among other concerns.

“These foreign vessels have no clearance from the Philippine government or any existing fisheries cooperation agreements with the country that allow them to conduct any fishing operations,” the agency said, adding that their fishing activities, therefore, are considered Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing within the Philippine territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). See more.>>