Pollution Turns China's Bohai into Dead Sea, Experts Warn

July 26, 2006 12:00 am Last Updated: July 26, 2006 12:00 am

The Bohai Sea, the largets internal sea and a major economic and maritime hub in China, used to boast titles such as the “Fish Warehouse” and the “Ocean Park”. The increasingly high pollution levels, however, are gradually turning the sea into a huge sewage pond and causing it to become a “Sea of Death”, ocean environmental experts warned.

According to the “2005 China Ocean Environmental Quality Bulletin” published by China's State Oceanic Administration (SOA), the seriously polluted, moderately polluted, and mildly polluted water areas in the Bohai Sea have increased by 280, 2,060 and 2,470 square kilometers respectively, corresponding to a 19 percent, 242.4 percent, and 65.5 percent increase in comparison with 2003.

SOA officials pointed out that pollution in Bohai sea mainly comes from land sources. The three main sources of pollution are residential discharge water, industrial waste water, and pesticides and chemical fertilizer pollution. In addition, the oil leakage from petroleum products from ships and ships' sanitary sewage, marine petroleum exploitation, and chemical additives used in marine culture also causes serious pollution to the sea.

Officials from the Ministry of Agriculture Bureau of Fisheries said that in the past, the main harvest of Bohai sea included prawns, white clams, flounders, yellow croakers, basses and cuttlefish, but now, these have completely vanished in the Bohai sea.

“Currently, there is not any kind of fish, shell-fish, or crab that can form a group of any scale in Bohai sea. The damage caused by the pollution is causing the extinction of nature. The pollution in the spawning ground in the Bohai sea has reached 100 percent,” an official said.

As early as 2001, China's four ministries have joined with the Chinese Navy and the four provinces surrounding the Bohai sea to set up a 15-year period plan titled the “Bohai Sea Blue Sea Motion Plan” with a budget of over 55.5 billion Yuan (around US $6.5 billion). China's Economy Review commented that, judging from the present situation, that plan is completely ineffective under the present Chinese bureaucrat mechanism, and that the “poisoning” of Bohai sea is getting worse.