Satellite images show the number of anchored ships in the Union Banks, within Philippine exclusive economic zone, decreased from April to August. (Simularity via European Space Agency)/ctto.

MANILA, Philippines — A total of 88 foreign ships, suspected to belong to Chinese maritime militia, have moved out of the Philippine exclusive economic zone, according to a report by a US-based geospatial and data analysis company.


In its August 23 report, Simularity noted that there are 71 fewer ships in the Union Banks, 35 fewer ships near Pag-asa (Thitu) Island and 88 fewer ships in the Philippine EEZ overall since its July 12 report on raw sewage from anchored ships in the Spratly Islands.


“Ships are no longer anchored together in large numbers. Reducing the amount of waste being dumped in any one place,” Similarity reported.


Between June 20 to July 12, the number of ships in the Philippine EEZ in the West Philippine Sea was at 234. This was before the raw sewage report was released.


After the report, between August 1 to 18, the number of ships in the Philippine EEZ was at 146, Simularity said.


The think tank noted that multiple ships have been anchored together in the Spratly Islands since 2019.


“When ships that are anchored together dump waste, it is more concentrated in one place. Spreading out the ships helps dilute the ‘excess nutrients’, which helps the coral,” the report read.


Simularity added that it was not unusual to see more than 20 ships anchored together in the Union Banks, where Julian Felipe (Whitsun) Reef is located. (Click here to read more…)