West Philippine Sea, additionally referred to as WPS, are these areas of the South China Sea which can be formally designated by the Philippine Government to be part of the nation’s unique financial zone. ‘West Philippine Sea’ is seldom employed by some whereas referring to the entire South China Sea.
Read the article to seek out some attention-grabbing info in regards to the West Philippine Sea.
1. How did the time period ‘West Philippine Sea’ come into existence?
The phrase ‘West Philippine Sea’ was first utilized by authorities of the Philippines in 2011 throughout the tenure of President Benigno Aquino III.
Certain parts of the South China Sea had been designated because the West Philippine Sea to painting their disagreement with China’s declare over the complete South China Sea and for the benefit of together with them within the nationwide mapping system.
It all began when a consultant of Akbayan, a political social gathering within the Philippines, filed a decision in 2011 and urged the federal government to vary the title of the South China Sea to the Western Philippine Sea.
His proposal acquired help from the nation’s armed forces and other people. Hence, his proposal was accepted and made official by a authorities order in 2012.
The time period’s software was restricted to the waters inside the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
In September 2012, the federal government introduced that the waters west of the Philippines could be referred to as the ‘West Philippine Sea’, and the identical time period could be utilized in nationwide maps, different types of official communication, authorities departments and paperwork.
2. West Philippine Sea has totally different maritime zones
The West Philippine Sea is outlined because the waters on the west facet of the Philippines by which the nation’s maritime rights prolong. It has varied maritime zones, every with particular maritime rights unique to the nation.
While it’s a common understanding that the farthest boundary of the West Philippine Sea is the Exclusive Economic Zone that goes 200 nm from the baseline, nevertheless past the EEZ lies the nation’s prolonged continental shelf. Only the Philippines has the proper to take advantage of and utilise the pure sources of this continental shelf and its seabed.
3. There are many disputed areas within the West Philippine Sea
The West Philippine Sea has been a web site of rivalry and confrontation as elements of it have been claimed by totally different nations within the area, resembling Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines. In distinction, the entire sea is claimed by China, Vietnam and Taiwan.
From 2013-2015, China reclaimed and militarised seven reefs within the South China Sea, 5 of which lie within the West Philippine Sea.
These 5 reefs are Mabini, McKennan, Calderon, Kagitingan and Burgos Reefs.
Also referred to as Johnson South Reef, the Mabini Reef lies within the southwestern a part of Union Banks, within the Spratly Islands, South China Sea.
4. Is considerable in pure sources and marine life
The West Philippine Sea has innumerable sources, resembling fish and marine life. According to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, roughly 324,312 metric tons of marine merchandise had been procured from the West Philippine Sea in 2020, which interprets to about seven per cent of the whole fisheries manufacturing in 2020.
Per officers, hundreds of fishermen earn their livelihood from the West Philippine Sea, particularly these from the IIcos area, Central Luzon, Mimaropa and elements of the National Capital.
However, the fisherfolk of the Philippines faces an enormous problem as a result of presence of Chinese vessels within the space, which threatens their security and livelihood.
Many worry that the harassment and incursions of Chinese ships may have a long-term impact and result in the collapse of the fishing trade within the West Philippine Sea. The shrinking catch is one other explanation for stress for a lot of fisherfolks who belong to the poorest part of society.
5. Coral Reefs In the West Philippine Sea cowl 464,000 hectares
Per the Biodiversity Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, coral reefs within the West Philippine Sea comprise an necessary a part of the nation’s complete reef space.
It is alleged that the Philippines has the third largest reef space and probably the most various coral reefs. An sq m of a wholesome coral reef produces 1-5 kg of white sand yearly.
The Coral Reefs within the West Philippines Sea cowl about 4,640 km2 and are an necessary supply of tourism since many individuals come right here to see the attractive coral reefs.
Most coral reefs listed below are discovered within the Kalayaan Island Group. They preserve and maintain marine life within the sea by offering a viable ecosystem for hundreds of species. They are residence to fish larvae and are hiding spots from massive predators.
Coral reefs are additionally necessary for us since they act as pure boundaries stopping large waves and safeguarding coastal settlements from sturdy waves, currents and coastal storms.
Sadly, the amount and high quality of coral reefs within the Philippines have declined significantly over the previous few years resulting from marine air pollution, tourism and lack of stringent laws.
Hence, environmental fanatics and specialists are striving to ascertain a authorities company to deal with coral reef administration.
6. Rich in oil and pure gasoline reserves
Per the U.S Geological Survey performed in 2013, the South China Sea has round 11 billion barrels of oil and 190 trillion cubic ft of pure gasoline.
According to the US Energy Information Administration, the Recto/Reed Bank has probably the most oil and pure gasoline on this Sea.
The historic Hague Ruling, 2016 said that the Recto Bank is part of the Philippines Exclusive Economic Zone.
7. Close to main seaports and harbours of the Philippines
There are many ports within the Philippines which can be strategically positioned near or alongside the shoreline of the West Philippine Sea.
The Manila Port is the largest and busiest port within the Philippines, positioned within the capital metropolis. It is the first worldwide commerce gateway related to the West Philippine Sea by Manila Bay.
Subic Bay Freeport Zone lies in Zambales Province. It is a deep-water facility which was as soon as a US Naval base however is now a free commerce zone close to the West Philippine Sea.
Lying in Batangas City, the port of Batangas, hyperlinks the Philippines to different nations. It lies alongside Calumpang Peninsula, which faces the West Philippine Sea.
Puerto Princesa Port is an entry level for vacationers visiting Palawan, an island province bordered by the West Philippine Sea.
Cagayan de Oro Port in Misamis Oriental is on the northern coast of Mindanao island. Although it isn’t immediately linked to the West Philippine Sea, it is among the key ports within the southern Philippines.
8. A vacationer hotspot with beautiful coastlines and pristine seashores
The West Philippine Sea and its area are a must-visit for nature lovers and journey fanatics. There are quite a few locations to discover and so many enjoyable actions to do.
The Palawan province is understood for its pure magnificence, and a few elements lie alongside the West Philippine Sea. El Nido and Coron are well-liked vacationer locations that supply views of limestone cliffs and wonderful diving websites.
Boracay, although not located within the West Philippine Sea, is a well-known island reached by the Caticlan Port. It is understood for its white sandy seashores, vibrant nightlife and water sports activities.
Lying in Ilocos Norte, Pagudpud additionally has seashores and pure sights like Bangui Windmills, Kabigan Falls, and Saud Beach.
In Zambales province, Subic Bay presents a mix of historical past, nature, and journey. Tourists can go to historic websites, get pleasure from water sports activities, go to a marine park, and even jungle trekking.
The Hundred Islands is a gaggle of small islands alongside the West Philippine Sea. It’s well-known for island-hopping, swimming, snorkelling, and tenting.
9. Home to quite a few island teams
The Spratly Islands, additionally referred to as Nansha Islands, are a disputed group of islands and reefs within the West Philippine Sea. They are claimed by varied nations, together with China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines and Brunei.
The Spratly Islands comprise over 100 small islands, reefs, and atolls. They are named after the Nineteenth-century whaling captain from Britain referred to as Richard Spratly, who noticed the Spratly Island in 1843.
Located amidst important delivery strains, these islands are principally uninhabited, present wealthy fishing grounds, and have massive oil and gasoline reserves. Some of those islands have civilian settlements and likewise army buildings.
Scarborough Shoal/ Panatag Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc is formed like a triangle. It is mainly a sequence of reefs and rocks mendacity off the coast of Zambales within the Philippines.
The Paracel Islands lie northwest of the Spratly Islands. Some important islands within the Paracels are Woody Island, Triton and Lincoln Island.
Macclesfield Bank, or Zhongsha Islands, is a submerged atoll within the central a part of the South China Sea, claimed by China, Taiwan, and the Philippines.
Reed Bank/ Recto Bank is an underwater reef within the West Philippine Sea, off the coast of Palawan, recognized for its potential oil and gasoline reserves.
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Zahra is an alumna of Miranda House, University of Delhi. She is an avid author, possessing immaculate analysis and enhancing abilities. Author of a number of tutorial papers, she has additionally labored as a contract author, producing many technical, artistic and advertising items. A real aesthete at coronary heart, she loves books somewhat greater than anything.