May 21, 2007

China Sea Faces Deterioration

A report by the Guangdong Provincial Oceanic and Fishery Administration shows that the seawater quality in South China’s Guangdong Province has deteriorated each year since the study was first done in 2001.

China Daily reports that data taken from 75 observation stations in 13 coastal cities shows that the Pearl River estuary, Shantou in East Guangdong and Zhanjiag port in Southwest Guangdong can all be characterized as “seriously polluted.”

Pollutants found in the area include inorganic nitrogen, phosphate and petroleum. The sea also contains copper, lead, mercury and arsenic.

Li Zhujiang, director of Guangdong Provincial Oceanic and Fishery Administration, expressed at a recent press briefing that the government is not paying enough attention to protecting oceans.

China Daily reports that the province monitored 112 land source sewage outlets last year and found that 75% had discharged pollutants higher than the permitted level.

Guangdong Monitoring Centre on Oceanic and Fishery Environment reported to China Daily that 8.3 billion tons of sewage from 82 outlets was discharged into the sea last year, up more than 60 % from 5 billion tons five years ago.

Li suggested that provinces should increase financial resources and should also sign letters of commitment to curb pollution.