According to a US-based expert, the dumping of human waste and other pollutants from Chinese ships anchored in the South China Sea and parts of the West Philippine Sea is said to be causing severe damage to marine resources.
According to Liz Derr, founder and CEO of Simularity, an expert in geospatial analysis and shares satellite data imagery, the alleged dumping of marine debris by Chinese ships by the Chinese daily over the past few years can be seen.
Chlorophyll-a is said to be due to the pollution created by waste products, including human excrement.
“It’s so intense you can see it from space,” Derr said in an online forum organized by the Stratbase ADR Institute for the 5th anniversary of the Philippines’ victory in the arbitral tribunal against China.
In satellite images over the past five years, Derr said debris from Chinese ships had created thick Chlorophyll-a that has caused “reef damage that will take decades to recover even with active mitigation.”
“When the ships don’t move, the poop piles up,” he explained. “The damage to the reefs in the last five years is visible and dramatic.”
Chinese ships dumping human wastes in West Philippine Sea
According to Derr, about 236 Chinese ships were spotted at Union Banks or Pagkakaisa Reefs, which entered the West Philippine Sea as of June 17.
The damage to marine resources, Derr said, is in addition to documented damage China is doing to the ocean, including taking endangered giant clams and building artificial island-building.
Apart from China and the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Taiwan also have their own claims to parts of the South China Sea.
On 12 July 2016, the special arbitral tribunal ruled in favor of the Philippines on most of its submissions. However, it clarified that it would not “… rule on any question of sovereignty over land territory and would not delimit any maritime boundary between the Parties.”