More and more Filipino fishermen ply their trade at the Bajo de Masinloc, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said on Friday.
The PCG said they monitored about 45 Filipino fishing boats off Bajo de Masinloc when they conducted intensified maritime operations there from February 28 to March 5.
“As of yesterday we monitored 37 fishing boats sa Bajo de Masinloc. PCG spokesman Armand Balilo said in an interview.
PCG Commandant Admiral Artemio Abu described this as a significant milestone in the push for maritime safety and security in Philippine coastal waters off Zambales.
“Seeing more Filipino fishing boats in Bajo de Masinloc is a proof of our intensified efforts to safeguard Filipino fishermen who consider fishing as their primary source of livelihood,” he said.
In 2021, the Department of Foreign Affairs protested the “shadowing, blocking, dangerous maneuver and radio challenges” by the Chinese Coast Guard on Philippine Coast Guard vessels conducting legitimate patrols and training exercises in the vicinity of Bajo de Masinloc.
Local fishermen also complained that they were not able to fish in the area due to the harassment by the Chinese Coast Guard.