Offshore areas still exposed to heavy pollution
( 2004-02-01 12:22) (Xinhua)
China still faces serious pollution problems in its offshore areas, the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) said in Beijing on Saturday.
The marine environmental quality report for 2003, released by the SOA here Saturday, showed that China altogether has 867 main outlets to discharge pollutants from the land into the sea. In 2003, about 880 million tons of sewage water, containing 1.28 million tons of pollutants, was discharged into the sea through 20outlets under strict monitoring of the SOA.
Most of the offshore areas face heavy pollution and the ecology system in the seas has been widely affected. Some offshore areas are even devoid of life, according to the report.
In north China's Dalian Bay and Jinzhou Bay and the mouth area of south China's Pearl River, the seashell ocean creatures are still high in toxic substances including lead, cadmium, arsenic and coliform bacteria.
Pollution has even changed the ecological structure in mouth areas of the Yellow River, the Yangtze River and the Pearl River. In 2003, the red tides of toxic algae hit China 119 times, affecting a total of 14,000 square kilometers.
The report also showed that the density of marine phytoplanktonrose in most offshore areas last year and the number of jellyfish also multiplied, menacing the life of fish.
Due to pollution, the density of marine phytoplankton in near sea has risen and some tropical ocean life has invaded some parts of the sea in north China, putting creatures in inland areas in great danger.
The major pollutants were still inorganic nitrogen, phosphates and lead, coming from sewage water, industrial wastes, chemical fertilizers and farm chemicals, said Ma Deyi, director of the National Marine Environmental Monitoring Center.
Ma suggested mass disposal of sewage water and better protection of sewage and soil to reduce ocean pollution.
China boasts a sea area of 3 million square kilometers, most basically in good environmental condition. Last year, approximately 142,000 square km of ocean areas in China failed to comply with the quality of clean sea water, 32,000 less than the previous year, said the report.
Water quality in zones used for aquatic breeding and the environment in bathing beaches are good as a whole, noted the report.
By the end of 2003, China had set up more than 80 oceanic natural reserve areas, among which 24 are at the state level.
Economic losses amounting to $970 million
Marine disasters led to direct economic losses of 8 billion yuan (about US$970 million) last year in China, up 22 percent over the same period last year, the SOA report said.
A report on China's marine disasters in 2003 released by the SOA showed that the disasters left 128 people dead or missing last year with the affected population at over 20 million.
The situation of marine disasters was normal last year and coastal storms are still the main cause of ocean disasters, according to the report. China's coastal area was hit by 14 storms or super tidal waves, causing direct economic losses of 7.87 billion yuan (over US$950 million) and leaving 25 people dead or missing.
The economic losses caused by ocean storms reached 5.04 billion yuan (some US$610 million) in south China's Guangdong province alone.
The report also showed that "red tides" of toxic algae hit China 119 times last year, 40 times more than that of 2002, affecting a total of approximately 14,000 square km.
But owing to the prompt efforts of the SOA, red tide prevention and control brought economic gains worth 200 million yuan (some US$24.2 million) in 2003. The number of red tide monitoring areas also increased from 10 in 2002 to 18 in 2003.
Last year, five oil well blowouts or oil ship overflows in China's coastal area caused economic losses of 16.7 million yuan (about US$2 million).
China was one of the nations suffering the most serious ocean disasters in the world, said Wang Fei, a SOA spokesman. The annual report would provide a sound basis for governments to make policies in ocean disaster prevention and control.
|.contact us |.about us|
|Copyright By chinadaily.com.cn. All rights reserved|