Satellite Photo of Pratas Islands/Source from SPOT Satellite
The Pratas Islands are located in the northern
part of the South China Sea. They form a very important maritime chokepoint
in the Taiwan Strait. There are three ring atolls in the Pratas
Islands: Pratas Atoll, South Vereker Atoll and North Vereker Atoll.
Pratas Island is 2800 x 865m, including 1.74 square kilometers of
land, and 0.64 square kilometers of lagoon. It is one of the biggest
islands in the South China Sea. There is fresh water and many coconut
trees on the island. The island was first occupied by Chinese in
the Ming Dynasty. The area around the island used to be rich in
marine resources. Many fishermen from Taiwan, Hong Kong and south
coast of China fished there. However, as a result of unrestricted
fishing sometimes using dynamite the number of fish has decreased
considerably, and the coral reefs have also been seriously damaged.