Filipino fishermen have a meal aboard a fishing boat overlooking Chinese fishing vessels at the disputed Scarborough Shoal, April 6, 2017.
Concerns over renewed tension between China and the Philippines in the rich fishing ground grew last week after a television report showed the Chinese coast guard taking the catch of Filipino fishermen who pass by the shoal, located only 124 nautical miles (229.65 kilometers) off Zambales and is within the country's exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
The Philippines has complained to China over the incident, but Manila showed restraint, calling it “small” compared to overall ties of the two Asian neighbors.
Filipino fishermen have sought the government’s help in stopping Chinese coast guard personnel from taking their catch.
There had been reports last year of an emerging “barter” system between Filipino fishermen and Chinese coast guard personnel, but it was only this year that the Filipinos were able to vent their complaint.