CORALS that used to grow in shallow water close to Rozul (Iroquios) Reef in the West Philippine Sea have disappeared possibly due to massive harvesting.
Vice Admiral Albert Carlos of the Western Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines said they discovered that there were no more corals in the area covered by the country's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) from the recent underwater survey conducted by military divers.
Carlos said in a news forum on Saturday that the divers were sent to do the survey after Chinese maritime militia vessels left the area.
He said they were now coordinating with scientists, and maritime experts to conduct additional assessments.
Aerial patrols by Wescom Air Assets on September 6 and 7 showed increased swarming by Chinese ships in three areas in the WPS, including Rozul Reef.
At least 23 ships were observed off Rozul, five off Escoda (Sabina) Shoal and two off Baragatan (Nares) Bank.
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