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Marine Industry Grows 12.2% Last Year
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China's marine industry grew 12.2 percent year-on-year to nearly 1.7 trillion yuan (US$211.2 billion) last year, the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) said Thursday.

The marine industry's contribution to the country's GDP (gross domestic product) was 4 percent, and its growth rate was 2.3 percentage points higher than that of the country's economy, according to the latest report on China's marine economy in 2005 issued by the SOA.

Marine industries kept steady growth in the past year, the report said, noting that the three pillar industries of coastal tourism, marine fishery, and ocean transportation altogether contributed to nearly three quarters of the total marine industrial output.

Statistics show that coastal tourism earned 505.2 billion yuan in 2005, accounting for 29.7 percent of the total, up 32.4 percent year-on-year.

The marine fishery reported 440.2 billion yuan in output value, or 25.9 percent of the total, indicating a yearly increase of 18 percent, while the ocean transportation rose by 8.4 percent year-on-year to 294 billion yuan in revenue, taking up 12.6 percent of the total.

In the past year, China reported 4.91 billion tons of port throughput, an increase of 190 million tons over 2004, statistics show.

By the end of last year, the Shanghai port became one of the world's largest ports, with a throughput of 443 million tons, according to the report.

In the 2001-2005 period, the marine industrial output amounted to more than 5.7 trillion yuan, double that of the 1996-2000 period, the report said.

The report predicted the marine industrial output will top 2 trillion yuan this year.

"Despite the fast and steady development of marine economy in the past year, there are nevertheless some problems in it," SOA spokesman Li Chunxian said.

He cited that in some regions, ocean development remains poor and in some other regions, there is an over exploitation.

(Xinhua News Agency February 10, 2006)

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