- SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST - JULY 13, 2021 - Raissa Robles -
Effluent is visible from satellite images, says US firm Simularity, echoing ex-US navy captain’s warning that 2,000 tonnes of waste are discharged monthly
The company has been monitoring more than 200 Chinese fishing vessels anchored for months in Philippine-claimed waters near the Spratly Islands
Satellite images show hundreds of Chinese fishing vessels anchored in disputed areas of the South China Sea are damaging coral reefs and sensitive marine ecosystems by pumping out tonnes of raw sewage, an American firm has claimed.
“When the ships don’t move, the poop piles up,” said Liz Derr, the CEO of Simularity, a firm that specialises in analysing satellite imagery and has been monitoring more than 200 Chinese fishing vessels anchored for months in Philippine-claimed waters near the Spratly Islands.
“The sewage from the anchored ships in the Spratlys is damaging the reefs and we can see this from space,” Derr told a digital forum hosted by the Manila think tank Stratbase ADR Institute on Monday.
The latest images showed for the first time a link between the heavy, constant presence of Chinese fishing vessels in the area and the degradation of the surrounding marine environment, Derr said.