Chinese tourists hunt rare sea critters

RAISING HACKLES: Photos showing Chinese snorkellers harassing, netting and eating sea creatures - including sea urchins and giant clams - at the Paracel Islands have sparked an outcry.


    Jul 29, 2013

    Chinese tourists hunt rare sea critters

    ANOTHER flap over Chinese tourists' ugly behaviour has surfaced after a group of snorkellers posted photos of themselves feasting on sea creatures, some endangered, at the Paracel Islands.

    The group of islands, known as Xisha in Chinese, is within a disputed region of the resource-rich South China Sea, over which China has claimed sovereignty.

    The snorkellers wrote in a forum post that they caught and feasted on sea creatures, including endangered ones such as the giant clam, The South China Morning Post reported last Saturday.

    The giant clam is protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, the Post said.

    "We gobbled up this giant clam. They are best when served raw, they taste good with mustard and soya sauce," one of the snorkellers, going by the username Shadowttt, reportedly posted on a Chinese forum.

    The group also had sea urchins for dinner one night.

    "Playing roughly with animals, sauteing them, frying them, roasting them," wrote mini-ying on microblogging service Weibo.

    "To flaunt your ignorance so unwittingly…I lack the energy for anger, and can muster only worry and heartache."

    China started cruises to the cluster of close to 40 islets, sandbanks and reefs in May.