Satellites Show Scale Of Suspected Illegal Dredging In South China Sea
Sand barges, Hong Kong, South China Sea. Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care
“Sand is the second most consumed natural resource, after water. The construction-building industry is by far the largest consumer of this finite resource, followed by the land reclamation industry. The Sand business has been estimated to be a $70 billion industry, worldwide…” Captions from Award-winning Filmmaker: ©2013 Denis Delestrac
An unrelenting fleet of China-based dredging vessels are churning up the South China Sea. They are accused of acting illegally, and of causing ecological damage. Satellite images show the incredible scale of the activity. Many tens of vessels, possibly hundreds, are involved. The sand goes to land reclamation, possibly including artificial islands in the South China Sea.
On April 17 the Taiwanese Coast Guard reportedly chased 40 illegal dredging vessels from an area at the northern end of the South China Sea. The above satellite image, taken on April 13, shows this activity. Another image, taken on May 3 confirms that the vessels returned and continued dredging…
Beijing moves to strengthen its hold on disputed islands in the South China Sea; Business Insider (04-22-2020)
Beijing has moved to tighten its grip over the South China Sea by setting up new administrative structures in the disputed waters…
China dredging in South China Sea violates Vietnam’s sovereignty, int’l law; HanoiTimes (05-28-2020)
Chinese ships are dredging more than 100,000 tons a day. Satellite images show the incredible scale of the activity. Many tens of vessels, possibly hundreds, are involved. The sand goes to land reclamation, possibly including artificial islands in the South China Sea. The vessels use suction dredges to suck up the sand. Each self-propelled dredging barge can carry hundreds of tons of sand and makes frequent trips.
This activity has been taking place for several years…
How and why China is building islands in the South China Sea; NewsWeek (03-29-2017)
China has been building manmade bases over some of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea since 2014, specifically targeting shallower areas, sandbanks, and reefs—islands, the shallower the better; a place that won’t sink under a load of concrete.
The Rising Environmental Toll Of China’s Offshore Island Grab; Yale E360 (10-10-2016)
To stake its claim in the strategic South China Sea, China is building airstrips, ports, and other facilities on disputed islands and reefs. Scientists say the activities are destroying key coral reef ecosystems and will heighten the risks of a fisheries collapse in the region…
Environmental damage to coral reefs in South China Sea; Science Daily (02-27-2020)
New research reveals the unseen environmental damage being done to coral reefs in the hotly contested South China Sea, as China and other nations jostle for control of the disputed sea lanes…