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Coastal areas still facing severe pollution: report
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Despite improvement in some areas, pollution in China's coastal areas remain "severe", according to a report released Tuesday by the State Oceanic Administration (SOA).

About 145,000 square km of coastal area was polluted in 2007, down 4,000 square km from the previous year, the report on China's oceanic environment said.

The Bohai Bay

Among the most heavily polluted coastal areas are Liaodong Bay, Bohai Bay, Yellow River Estuary, Laizhou Bay, Yangtze River Estuary, Hangzhou Bay and Zhujiang River Estuary, the report said.

The northern Bohai Sea, the worst polluted sea area in the country, still suffered from heavy pollution. The polluted area measured 24,000 square km, or 31 percent of the total Bohai area, an increase of 4,000 square km from the 2006 figure.

"The deterioration trend of China's coastal area eco-system has not been eased," said Li Xiaoming, the SOA's Department of Ocean Environment Protection director.

About 78 percent of the 18 regions under ecological monitoring were in a sub-state of ecological health or unhealthy. They featured eutrophication, a decrease in oceanic resources and an alienation of biotic community structure, according to Li.

China had 82 cases of red tide in 2007, contaminating 11,610 square km of sea area. Pollutants were blamed for the cause of the red tides in which large amounts of algae kill sea creatures.

"Oceanic authorities at all levels must strengthen supervision on terrestrial pollution sources near sea areas," Li said, noting 87.6 percent of the 573 monitoring points of sediment in the sea areas discharged excessive amount of chemicals.

(Xinhua News Agency January 16, 2008)

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