Waste dumping and land reclamation pollute China’s seas

Excess waste discharge and land reclamation are worsening pollution in China's shallow coastal waters, the China Daily reported last week.

Four-fifths of waste discharge stations overseen by the State Oceanic Administration, dumped more than their permitted amount, spewing 12.9 million tonnes of waste into the seas last year, the paper said.

About 149,000 square kilometers of sea failed to meet acceptable standards, an increase of 10,000 square kilometers compared with 2005. Worst-hit were the Bohai Sea, bordering the industrial northeast, and the estuary of the Yangtze River, China ‘s largest waterway.

"The coastal marine ecosystem is getting worse, the quality of off-shore ocean water has not improved. Large amounts of pollutants are filtering from the land into the sea," the paper cited Li Chunxian, spokesman for the Administration, as saying.

China’s booming coastal areas had reclaimed 300 square kilometres of land every year from 2001 through 2006, the paper said, citing the Xinhua news agency.

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Photo by Jackson Lee