Satellite images caught crews of hundreds of vessels depositing human waste and sewage on reefs
Geospatial images obtained by the European Space Agency show that Chinese ships have caused severe environmental damage in the Spratly Islands region, the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines.
The images, provided by the American company Simularity, show that hundreds of boats anchored in that region have deposited human waste and sewage on the reefs, leading to a high concentration of algae harmful to local fauna.
“Damaging these reefs directly affects fish stocks across the South China Sea and could lead to a famine crisis in coastal regions and the collapse of commercial fisheries in the region,” said Simularity CEO Liz Derr.
Chinese ships dump waste on Spratly Islands and impact marine life
According to a technical analysis report released in a report on the Philstar Global portal, “the excess phytoplankton that cannot be consumed by the life that inhabits the reef dies and sinks into the sea, it is consumed by bacteria. These bacteria consume oxygen that would normally be available to fish, creating a 'dead zone'”.
If the situation is not resolved, the document projects a “catastrophe of epic proportions” and says that the environmental damage caused by Chinese vessels is approaching a “point of no return”.
Asked about the fact, the Chinese Embassy only pointed out the use, by the report, of an old photo taken in Australia. The report, however, would have used the photo as a mere illustration of the bloom of phytoplankton and algae caused by excess nutrients in the water.