SEPA: China's Marine Environment Faces Irreversible Damage

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The results of a 2005 marine environmental protection inspection released by the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) on November 28th showed that in spite of improvement of marine conditions in some coastal areas, the overall quality of China’s marine environment remains dire.

The report focused on pollution, coastal ecosystem deterioration and marine accidents that have had serious impacts over the past two years. According to an official at SEPA quoted by, the marine pollution has caused irreversible damage in some coastal areas.

The most heavily polluted areas are concentrated along the coastline, including Bohai Bay, Hangzhou Bay, and the mouths of the Yangtze, Yellow and Pearl rivers. As ecosystems have been destroyed, the number of toxic red tides has increased in these areas.

Pollution from inorganic nitrogen, phosphates and lead are persistent problems, notes the report, which are brought into the oceans by sewage water, industrial waste, chemical fertilizers and farm chemicals. These challenges are compounded by the absence of an integrative mechanism for pollution prevention and clean-up, which has caused interregional pollution conflicts and has made it difficult to improve environmentally compromised areas.

The inspection was executed by SEPA, State Oceanic Administration, Inspection Department, Transportation Department, Agriculture Department, and Military Environmental Protection Committee.