Fish War? Apparent Ramming is Deadly

A fisherman was killed, another was injured, and four more are missing after their fishing boat was rammed by an alleged Chinese vessel 160 nautical miles from the Panatag Shoal, in the Philippines. The Philippine fishing boat, “Axl John,” was anchored at a payaw, or artificial fish shelter, when the ramming occurred. On June 20, the owner of the “Axl John” received a call from the boat informing her that they were rammed by a “Chinese vessel” while at anchor, damaging and eventually sinking the Philippine fishing boat.

There is no certainty that the collision was intentional, since sea conditions were rough at the time because of a storm surge. A Philippine official stated: “It’s the mystery. If it was accidental, they should have helped [the sunk Filipino fishermen].” Also, he added that it was hard to say if the ramming was intentional because it has a “diplomatic repercussion” as the site of the incident is near the Scarborough Shoal, where a standoff between Chinese and Filipino ships broke out last April 10.

Both countries claimed the territory. Tensions flared in April when the Philippines accused Chinese fishermen of poaching within its exclusive economic zone, which includes the shoal. China responded by sending paramilitary vessels to protect the fishermen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • The Maritime Law Association of The United States
    The Maritime Law Association of the United States (MLA) was founded in 1899. Its formation was prompted by the organization, some three years earlier, of the International Maritime Committee.
  • Washington State Bar Association
    The Washington State Bar Association operates under the delegated authority of the Washington Supreme Court to license the state's nearly 40,000 lawyers and other legal professionals.
  • Oregon State Bar
    The Oregon State Bar is a government agency in the U.S. state of Oregon. Founded in 1890 as the private Oregon Bar Association, it became a public entity in 1935 that regulates the legal profession.
  • Alaska Bar Association
    The Alaska Bar Association is a mandatory bar association responsible to the Alaska Supreme Court for the admission and discipline process of attorneys for the State of Alaska.