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Marine eco-environment continues to deteriorate in Guangdong


8:53 am
May 21, 2010



posts 215

Seawater pollution remains serious in the coastal waters off South
China's Guangdong Province, where the marine ecological environment
continues to deteriorate, according to local maritime authorities.

The seawater quality of the prosperous province has worsened since
the monitoring began in 2001, says an annual monitoring report released
by the Guangdong provincial oceanic and fisheries administration.

"The Pearl River estuary, in particular, is the most polluted sea
area of our province," said Qu Jiashu, deputy head of the

Qu said that of the total 95 monitored sewage outlets, 43 failed to
meet the requirements for pollutant discharge.

According to the report, the area with "clean" seawater accounted for
54 percent of the total sea area along the coast of Guangdong in 2009,
down 3.6 percent year on year, while the area with "moderately and
seriously polluted" seawater increased by 16.3 percent.

Based on data from observation stations in the shore areas of 14
coastal cities, the report shows that the seawater quality of Guangzhou,
Dongguan and Zhongshan, as well as Shenzhen and Zhuhai, which neighbors
Hong Kong and Macao, have fallen into the category of "seriously

Guangdong has a coastline of 4,114 km.

The report also showed the province saw 11 red tide incidents in the
offshore area in 2009, as eutrophication has become a serious problem.
The incidents affected 750 square km of sea, an area that has tripled
since the level in 2008.

Red tide is a harmful algal bloom of phytoplankton that kills fish
and reduces seawater quality. Such blooms often take on a red or brown
hue, hence the name.

Inorganic nitrogen, phosphates and petroleum are the principal
pollutants in the area, mainly due to discharge from heavy chemical
industrial enterprises, Wang Huajie, director of the provincial oceanic
and fisheries environment monitoring center, was quoted as saying by
Thursday's China Daily.

Incidents like dolphins dying from eating discarded plastic bags that
they mistake for food are frequently reported in the province, with the
number of fish species continuing to decrease, he said.


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