China coastal waters increasingly polluted

Mar 21, 2013
Boys toss a girl into the waters of the Bohai Sea at a beach in Qinhuangdao in 2007. China's coastal waters are suffering "acute" pollution, with the size of the worst affected areas soaring by more than 50 percent last year, an official body says.

China's coastal waters are suffering "acute" pollution, with the size of the worst affected areas soaring by more than 50 percent last year, an official body said.

The State Oceanic Administration (SOA) said 68,000 square kilometres (26,300 square miles) of sea had the worst official pollution rating in 2012, up 24,000 square kilometres on 2011.

Under this classification the waters are deemed unsuitable for swimming, fish-farming and port use and not fit for some industrial purposes.

The findings highlight the country's rising environmental problems, which are often a by-product of its booming economy and have led to public anger and protests.

"The pollution of and damage to the eco-system... remained acute," the SOA said in a statement on the release of its annual report Wednesday.

Pollutants discharged into the sea from 72 monitored rivers increased to more than 17 million tonnes last year, the statement said, without providing a comparative previous figure.

That included 46,000 tonnes of and 93,000 tonnes of oil, the state-run said Thursday, citing the report.

Plastic refuse accounted for 80 percent of litter in coastal waters, it added.

"Pollution discharge from land has sharply affected the ," the SOA said in its statement, with high impact in major estuaries such as the Yangtze and Pearl which are huge industrial and population centres.

More than 80 percent of the Bohai Sea coastline in was crowded with factories and construction projects, and less than five percent remained in a natural state, according to the China Daily.

China's Communist leaders have promised action on pollution in response to growing public outrage. Protests about environmental issues have reportedly grown by almost 30 percent a year since 1996.

Explore further: Climate change affecting species

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Giant green algae slick heads towards China

Jun 22, 2010

A massive floating expanse of green algae is heading towards China's east coast, potentially threatening wildlife and the region's tourist industry, state media reported on Tuesday.

China warns US oil firm after spill: report

Sep 16, 2011

China has told US oil giant ConocoPhillips to step up its efforts to seal leaks and clean up a spill off its north coast after finding oil was still leaking into the sea, state media reported Friday.

Algae slick floating towards China's east coast

Jun 15, 2011

A large expanse of green algae is floating towards China's east coast, potentially threatening marine life and the region's tourism industry, an official and state media said Wednesday.

China uses oil-eating bacteria to clean up spill

Jul 20, 2010

Authorities in China are using over 23 tonnes of oil-eating bacteria to help clean up an oil spill in the Yellow Sea caused by a pipeline explosion and fire at the weekend, state media said Tuesday.

China boom savages coral reefs, study finds

Dec 27, 2012

China's economic boom has seen its coral reefs shrink by at least 80 percent over the past 30 years, a joint Australian study found, with researchers describing "grim" levels of damage and loss.

Recommended for you

Climate change affecting species

1 hour ago

The Global Change and Sustainability Research Institute (GCSRI) and the Wits Rural Facility (WRF) hosted a top climate change scientist, Professor Camille Parmesan, who delivered a talk to staff, students ...

User comments : 0