MANILA, Philippines – BRP Malapascua (MRRV-4403), together with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (MCS-3001), departed the headquarters of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Wednesday, May 3, to conduct maritime security operations at the vicinity waters of Benham Rise.
Benham Rise is a 13-million-hectare underwater plateau located near Aurora. (READ: Fast Facts: What you should know about Benham Rise)
The operation aims to monitor the Joint Fisheries Research activity in the said waters.
In 2009, the Philippines claimed Benham Rise as part of its continental shelf in a claim lodged with the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. This claim was approved under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in 2012.
Marine experts say Benham Rise is about 2,000 to 5,000 meters deep, and is rich in natural gas and other resources.
MRRV 4403 BRP Malapascua is under the helm of Commander Gary Dale Timotea of the PCG, while MCS 3001 is skippered by Captain Luisito Sibayan. – Rappler.com