The cultural appetite of Chinese for exotic and endangered animals has long fueled the global black market for such products and sustained an army of poachers who are forcing various species into extinction. This cultural taste is combined with China’s unrivaled anti-environmental record. Those elements came together this week when a Chinese vessel, the F/N Min Long Yu ran aground in a protected coral reef in the southwestern Philippines. Not only did the vessel damage the protected area, but it turned out to be illegally present in the area and loaded with more than 22,000 pounds of meat from a protected species, the pangolin or scaly anteater. The Chinese crew then allegedly tried to bride the Filipino coast guard to just look the other way — a common practice in China.
The ship was not allowed to be in the Tubbataha National Marine Park, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site on Palawan island. However, what shocked the Coast guard most was the load of 400 boxes containing 25 to 30 kilograms of frozen pangolins each. Chinese believe that the toothless, insect-eating animals have special healing properties. Of course, the Chinese simply destroy populations and habitats rather than work to actually conserve such areas as the ultimate consumers of exotic animals.
The 2000 animals represent one of the largest single hauls of dead pangolins ever seized. Chinese government officials have already visited the 12 crewmen and could face up to 12 years’ imprisonment and fines of up to $300,000 for the poaching charge alone. However, the Chinese expansion into pristine areas and its proven disregard for the environmental protection promises even greater damage in the future.
17 thoughts on “Chinese Vessel Runs Aground In Protected Filipino Coral Reef Loaded With Dead Protected Anteaters”
Throw the book at them. And that’s all I have to say about that.
we really, really gotta stop buying stuff from China
The Chinese trade in gill plates is a problem in the making:
….” the mantas, which are paying the price of becoming the latest commodity in the often senseless and environmentally destructive Chinese Medicinal Trade. The ray’s feathery gill plates, which they use to filter the plankton from the water, have become a product and as a result these harmless animals are paying the price of humanity’s selfish ignorance…
It appears that the increasing demand which has arisen in the last few decades is due to product marketing by Chinese retailers who have seen an opportunity, created by a relatively available commodity, to market a new product into the traditional medicine industry, falsely “reviving” this remedy which in reality does not even exist in the traditional literature. ….
The demand for gill plates is so high that in certain countries, such as Sri Lanka, fisherman who used to avoid catching mobulid rays, due to their propensity to destroy and entangle fishing nets, are now driven to fill their boat’s holds with mobulid rays when returning to harbour.
This demand, coupled with the dwindling supplies of more desirable fish catches (such as sharks, tunas and billfishes) now gives the fishermen even greater incentives to actively target mobulid rays in order to maintain their livelihood.”
“Diminishing ray of hope”
“Also a member of conservation group Manta Trust, Daniel fears the combination of slow maturation, long gestation and infrequent pregnancies means manta and mobula populations cannot sustain the slaughter. With a wingspan of up to seven metres, manta rays are believed to be at least 15 to 20 years old by the time they are ready to breed. A mature female usually produces one pup every two to five years, with each pregnancy lasting a year. Scientists estimate they live more than 50 years.
Less is known about their mobula cousins except they have a similar, slow reproductive cycle. So an entire school could be wiped out on a single fishing trip and never replaced. ….
Conservationists say the Chinese city of Guangzhou trades as much as 99 percent of a global market ”
good thing they tossed that dead hooker overboard
Onlooker, misplaced modifiers can conjure up some pretty interesting pictures. I, too, initially tried to wrap my mind around dead anteaters on the coral reef. It didn’t work. Anteaters are land animals, so, sure, they would be dead in the sea.
I will stick to turkey and beef! Anteaters??? Yikes.
This makes the Japanese whalers look good.
Here’s another story of a Chinese ship running aground, this time on Australia’s Great Barrier reef in 2010. The Chinese ship was 9 miles outside the shipping channel and hit the reef at full speed!
You’re fallin’ down on the job, man! Where’s the anteater recipes? 😉
Umm, which was loaded with dead anteaters? The “vessel”, or the reef?
Bad grammar is really annoying, especially when coming from professors.
Of course the Chinese aren’t the only ones who get messed up on protected coral reefs. And there’s another difference. The Chinese ship was from a private enterprise. The US ship was government owned.
A Navy ship that crashed onto a coral reef caused $1.4 million in damages that the United States will be expected to repay. That’s the statement from Tubbataha National Marine Park, Philippines superintendent Angelique Songco, who said that she based the price on evidence that the USS Guardian damaged 25, 240 square feet of UNESCO World Heritage coral reef in the remote Sulu Sea.
She said that the Philippines would file a formal request with the US embassy next week and that the amount wasn’t excessive or dishonest. She said that the island nation was simply assessing the actual costs of damage to the living coral reef, which is the country’s most productive and is considered a vital food resource.
The incident has been something of a scandal ever since the $300 million Navy minesweeper went aground on the reef on January 17. The Navy ship was wedged so tightly into the coral reef after the collision that it had to be completely dismantled, a salvage operation that reportedly cost $45 million and wasn’t completed until March 30.
“A mistake was made there,” retired three-star admiral Joe Sestak reportedly said. While the Navy hasn’t given details about exactly what that mistake might have been, there’s not much question that somebody did something wrong and the Navy is pretty hot about it. The commanding officer, as well as three crewmembers, have been relieved of their duties while the investigation continues into exactly what happened.
The world’s coral reefs have been having a tough time lately.
The Chinese don’t need no stinking ecology standards…. What’s good for one is good for a yen….
The anteaters meat should be sold by the govt, and then that money used for further protection of the habitat.
Seems like a waste to throw away good food otherwise.
I’ll have mine medium rare w/ a nice pinot noir.
Gives new meaning to and/or concern for the notion “we are all in this together.”
They must be members of the “EFF Tomorrow” group.
They’re an offshoot of the Easter Island, “Lets’ cut all the trees down” group.
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