The Philippine navy seized four Chinese fishing vessels Saturday for sailing near an island claimed by Manila in the disputed Spratly Island chain.
A statement from the presidential palace said the navy made the arrests after the vessels sailed near Alicia Annie, a part of the Philippinecontrolled area in the Spratlys.
It said authorities boarded one of the vessels and found it contained cyanide, which is used by fishermen to stun fish in corral reefs. It did not say what happened to the crew or how many Chinese fishermen were aboard.
The incident is the latest between China and the Philippines over the islands in the South China Sea, which also are claimed in whole or part by Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei.