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China’s Oceanic Environment Continues to Deteriorate

On March 20, 2013, China’s State Oceanic Administration released its 2012 report on China’s oceanic environment. The report indicated that the quality of the seawater along China’s coastline deteriorated in 2012 as a result of disasters including oil spills. For example, the oil spill from the sub-sea wells in the Penglai 19-3 oil field in June 2011 and from the oil explosion at the Dalian Xingang on July 16, 2010, continue to have an adverse effect on the adjacent waters and the ecological environment.

An increasing volume of pollutants are being dumped into the sea. In 2012, the pollutants discharged from 72 rivers into the ocean rose from last year to a total of 17.05 million tons. Liaohe estuary, Yellow River estuary, Yangtze river estuary, and Zhouhai estuary have seen dramatic adverse ecological deterioration. About 70 percent of the nearby waters are below standard.

The report also said that a total of 170,000 square kilometers of near-shore waters are now below the first grade of seawater quality, which is the level suitable for hosting marine life and natural reserves.

Source: China’s State Oceanic Administration, March 20, 2013