Marine pollution has worsened in the past year, especially in
the shallow waters off the coast, said the Beijing oceanic
authority on Friday.
"The coastal marine ecosystem is getting worse, the quality of
off-shore ocean water has not improved. Large amounts of pollutants
are filtering from the land into the sea," said Li Chunxian,
spokesman for the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) at a news
A report was also released on the condition of China's seas,
marine accidents and the rise of the sea level last year.
A total of 149,000 square kilometers of sea failed to meet
acceptable standards, 10,000 square kilometers more than in
The most heavily polluted areas were concentrated along the
Bohai Sea and the estuary of the Yangtze.
Lying off the coast of north China, one of the country's most
populous and developed areas, the Bohai Sea continues to be the
most polluted of four problem areas.
An area of 20,000 square kilometers, accounting for 26 percent
of its waters, failed to meet acceptable standards.
Land waste was the major cause of the pollution, Li said. About
81 percent of the 609 waste discharge stations, supervised by the
SOA, dumped more waste than the permitted amount last year.
A total of 12.9 million tons of waste was discharged into the
Li called for more efforts to repair the damage and strengthen
control of discharge containing harmful elements.
Jiang Zhenghua, vice-chairman of the Standing
Committee of the National People's Congress, warned on Thursday
that the reclamation of land had also harmed aquatic resources and
intensified sea disasters.
The rapid economic development of the coastal areas resulted in
the reclamation of 300 square kilometers of land every year from
2001 to 2005, Xinhua reported.
According to SOA, a national plan will be drawn up for land
reclamation this year to better the oceanic environment.
The report also said that last year recorded serious marine
disasters in China.
Economic losses suffered by the coastal areas from storms,
typhoons, red tides, and tidal waves were 21.84 billion yuan ($2.73
billion), an increase of 11.4 billion compared to 2005.
A total of 492 died or went missing, 121 more than 2005.
The continuous rise in the sea also contributed to the record
number of tidal waves, the report said.
The sea level has kept on rising an average of 2.5 millimeters a
year in recent years. It is 7.1 centimeters higher now than it was
between the period of 1975 and 1986, according to the report.
The rise in sea level has severely eroded the coastal areas of
Shandong, Jiangsu, Shanghai and Hainan. "The rise has influenced
the economy and ecosystem of the offshore outlets in China," Li
(China Daily January 13, 2007)