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Moves to Safeguard Marine Resources
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Thanks to intensified administrative efforts, there were improvements in the use of marine resources last year which clearly showed the government's resolve in curbing the depletion of such resources, said a bulletin released on Friday by the State Oceanographic Bureau.

The bureau performed 7,037 examinations on 3,258 sea-use projects in 2002, 3.4 times the number in the previous year. Of those projects, 771 received administrative punishment, mainly for a "lack of proper certificates" or for "illegal operations."

Underneath these two common reasons for punishment are the responsible persons' "natural or deliberate" ignorance about related rules, said Wu Jingyou, a publicity official with the bureau.

Last year was the State Council's Year of Marine Administrative Management, but the stepped-up supervision did not abate at the end of the year, he said. According to Wu, future investigations by the administration into the use of marine resources will focus on ensuring sea-use regulations, such as those on land reclamation, aquatic farming and sea-sand mining. In addition, rules to protect the marine environment by supervising marine engineering projects and sea dumping will be enforced and the marine environment's situation will be monitored.

The country's "heavily polluted" seas, defined as sea water that is no longer suitable for marine life or human activities, decreased by 7,000 square kilometers in 2002 from that of the previous year.

Wang Fei, a spokesman for the bureau, believes this supports continued strengthening of administrative management in this regard.

Although there is still much to do, Wang said sea-water pollution might never have begun to abate in certain areas without the government's efforts in, for instance, sewage treatment and aquatic cultivation supervision.

The administrative management measures also include safeguarding the country's sea-related rights.

(China Daily January 27, 2003)

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