29 May, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 12/20/2007
CHINA
Polluted waters infect China’s fish and mussel farms
China’s fishing industry is the biggest in the world. But now most of China’s waterways are too polluted and breeders are accused of using cancerous chemicals. Beijing promises stricter controls and the fish farms move further afield. Experts fear this could increase pollution.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Lack of water and increate pollution are putting the nation’s fishing industry, the world’s biggest: fish and seafood destined for the Japanese and Western markets, particularly the United States.

The industry had prospered for years, favoured by the diminishing world fish stocks and increate demand.  In 2006 China produced 52.16 billion kilogram’s of fish products, circa 70% of the world market.  Moreover it employs 4.5 million people, according to statistics from the Office for Fishing Industries.

But over 50% of waterways within China are too polluted and not safe for human use.  For years now fish farmers have been mixing illegal drugs with pesticides to keep fish alive.  But their meat absorbs these substances which are dangerous and cancerogenous.  Eel producers, for example, often used nitro furan to kill bacteria. But that antibiotic has been banned for use in animal husbandry in the United States, Europe, Japan, and even China, because it has caused cancer in laboratory rats. Chinese farmers say they have stopped using the banned medicines, and have suffered a 30 percent decline in survival rates of their fish and other seafood.

Worse still is industrial waste, such as in Guangdong, where waters are full of toxic substances: heavy metals and traces of mercury have been found in fish.

In recent years, the European Union and Japan have imposed temporary bans on Chinese seafood because of illegal drug residues. The United States blocked imports of several types of fish this year after inspectors detected traces of illegal drugs linked to cancer. By comparison, Thailand, also a major exporter of seafood to the United States, had only two refusals related to illegal veterinary drugs. China as a whole had 210 refusals for illegal drugs.

Fuqing (Fujian) is the heart of this industry, imported by immigrants returning from Japan and Taiwan.  Fish farming proved simple, (it was enough to dig a hole) and profitable.  Lin Sunbao, whose 25-year-old son is now studying at Cambridge University  in England told the New York Times “My best years were the early nineties.  I only had one aqua farm, and I earned over 500 thousand dollars a year”.

But then the textile and electrical  industries arrived in the area and now the rivers and basins have been classified as not appropriate for human use, while nearby coastal waters are full of petrol, led, mercury and copper.

Now the fish farmers have moved their farms elsewhere. But experts observe that the same gigantic fish farms dump their waste (excrement pesticides and drugs) without treating it, creating further pollution.  The fishing industry has destroyed entire mangrove forests in Thailand, Vietnam and China altering the ecological system. Oceans of seaweed have invaded water basins such as lake Tai because of the excessive amounts of nutrients n the water. 

An Taicheng of the Chinese Academy of Sciences comments: “China has to go to the sea because it’s getting harder and harder to find clean water. Every year there are seafood safety problems. One day, no one will dare to eat fish from dirty water, and what will farmers do?

e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
09/05/2011 CHINA
Millions of dead fish in river water authority claims "is normal"
07/31/2006 CHINA – UNITED STATES
China's air pollution hits United States
02/23/2011 JAPAN
First trade deficit in almost two years for Japan
09/24/2009 JAPAN
Japanese exports drop by 36 per cent
04/26/2005 CHINA
Chinese textile 'tsunami' hits Africa and Asia

Editor's choices
ASIA
Vigil for persecuted Christians, our teachers in the mission in the West
by Bernardo CervelleraThe "wall of indifference and cynicism" and the silence and apathy so often denounced by Pope Francis have become almost a fortress. Such persecution reflects confessional manipulation, which slams Islam as such, and ideological manipulation, which forgets what is happening in North Korea or China. An increasingly post-Christian Europe seems disinterested in Christians.
RUSSIA – CHINA
Moscow Patriarchate: China authorises the ordination of Chinese Orthodox priests on its territory
by Marta AllevatoMetropolitan Hilarion, the Moscow Patriarchate’s ‘foreign minister’, made the announcement after a visit to China where he met the leaders of the State Administration for Religious Affairs. The first priest should serve in Harbin. Two more ordinations are expected. With a new Cold War as the background, the Moscow-Beijing strategic alliance also has a Church connection with the People's Republic recognising the latter’s 'political' role in Russia.
VATICAN
Pope: We and the four new saints, witnesses of the Resurrection "where forgetfulness of God and human disorientation are most evident "Francis proclaims four religious sisters saints: one French, one Italian, two Palestinians: Maria Alfonsina Danil Ghattas, the foundress of the Sisters of the Rosary, and the Carmelite Maria of Crucified Jesus (nee Maria Bawardy). Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority present. "Abiding in Christ" and cultivating “unity among us" are essential signs of witness. Maria Bawardy, "instrument of encounter and communion with the Muslim world".

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.