South China sea fisherman
Poachers were caught with hundreds of sea turtles in a disputed shoal in the South China Sea (not pictured here)Reuters

International relations between China and neighbouring Asian countries are set to rise after a Philippine court fined nine Chinese fishermen $102,000 each for poaching.

The court said that the nine people were caught with hundreds of sea turtles in a disputed shoal in the South China Sea which led to the fishermen being arrested in May.

However two fisherman were sent home because they were under the age of 18.

From reports, it is unclear how the fisherman will pay the massive fines but if they don't pay up, they could face six months in jail.

The incident could provoke another round of talks over the disputed territory within the Philippines' 200-mile exclusive economic zone as China already claims almost all of the entire South China Sea.

The 'ownership' of the South China Sea has been fraught with territorial disputes between China, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan.

The area is estimated to be loaded with minerals and oil-and-gas deposits as well as fruitful bounties of sea life.