The Philippines has been a hot bed of reef and fisheries related stories as of late. A huge ship ran aground on Bakud Reef, inflicting serious damage that would set the reef system back 20 years, and a group of poachers decimated an entire reef system off the coast of Cotabato. To add to this growing list of events, a group of 112 Vietnamese fishermen were arrested due to illegal fishing activities. The men were arrested aboard seven fishing boats off the western Philippine island of Palawan, in what is said to be the largest number of foreign fishermen and fishing vessels to be caught. The story is still too young to know if any endangered species were being illegally caught, but authorities do claim the fishermen were well within the territorial waters of the Philippines and not in the disputed waters of the South China Sea. In past events identical to this, except on a much smaller scale, foreign fishermen were caught with endangered species such as sea turtles.
In an unrelated story, a sudden drop in water temperature killed over 750 tonnes of fish in multiple lakeside towns in the Philippines. The fish apparently lay in large rotting piles, causing not only a nasty stink, but also serving as a constant reminder of the hard times ahead as several of these towns rely heavily on the fishing industry.
To read more about these two stories, please visit The Peninsula.