27 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


» 01/19/2007
CHINA
Death of a sea from industrial waste and coastal build-up
Billions of tonnes of untreated liquid and solid waste are killing the Bohai Sea. The authorities are spending billions of yuan to clean up the sea but plan also more factories and larger harbours. Here is the third in a series of articles about China’s environmental crisis.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Mao Zedong chose the place to dive into the sea and it still has a beach resort for party bosses. It is the Bohai Sea. But in 2006 alone some 1.58 billion tonnes of water contaminated by chemical substances were dumped into it. Fish are dying and a massive algal bloom, or red tide, has invaded it. Still local government is planning more miles of factories and harbour facilities.

The Bohai Sea is China’s most polluted sea according to the State Oceanic Administration. Every year it absorbs nearly 5.7 billion tonnes of sewage and 2 million tonnes of other solid waste—43 out of 52 rivers flowing into it are severely polluted.

And 80 per cent of the 112 discharge outlets in Tianjin, Shandong, Liaoning and Hebei frequently discharged chemicals, industrial waste and sewage into the sea.

The bay has also been hit more frequently by red tides. They consume the waste that flows into the coastal waters from rivers and streams, and poison the water and choke off sea life.

China’s State Environmental Protection Administration spent 21 billion yuan cleaning it up during the 10th Five-Year Plan as part of a 15-year national clean-up campaign; it plans to spend another 28.6 billion yuan from last year to 2010. But results so far have been limited.

Qikou, a village near Tianjin on the Bay of Bohai, had a rich fishing industry. Last summer an unprecedented discharge of industrial sewage from the upper reaches of the Canglangqu River. Red algae covered the coast, remove oxygen and cut off sunlight, killing marine life. Thousands of crabs, shrimp and fish died.

More than 600 hectares of fish farms were affected, according to village Chief Chen Lianfu, invaded by effluents from chemical plants, paper mills and leather factories in Henan, Shanxi, Shandong and Hebei.

Coastal sea fishing had to be suspended for the first time in years in September, and hundreds of fishermen were left jobless.

Shops in Beijing and Tianjin now refuse to buy local fish.

Qikou residents enjoyed an average income of 3,760 yuan in 2003, but average incomes dropped to a few hundred yuan last year.

Mr Chen told Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post that most residents had to take out loans to build their fish farms and now cannot continue.

"We will continue to petition the governments in Huanghua, Cangzhou and Hebei, and call for immediate action to stop pollution," Mr Chen said. "Otherwise, we will have no way to make a living. But first of all we must seek compensation for those living in great difficulty."

Despite the situation Tianjin plans to reclaim about 250 sq km from the sea to build dozens of industrial projects, including a power plant, a fishing port and several industrial parks. Hebei will reclaim up to 310 sq km of land to build the port of Caofeidian, only about 60km from Tianjin's port. And the port of Huanghua is expected to reclaim another 300 sq km from the Bohai Sea.

Tao Jianhua, an environmental engineering expert from Tianjin University, said such plans will have serious consequences for the environment and marine life.

“People used to think land-based pollution would have little impact on the sea, but this is very wrong,” she said. This kind of pollution is the result of “irrational development,” Professor Tao said.

In her opinion local authorities in Tianjin have yet to realise the importance of a balance between economic development and ecological preservation.

In the meantime, local farmers have little choice but to use contaminated water. But they don't eat their own produce, which will be sold in Beijing and Tianjin. The worst part is that no one can tell whether it is from a polluted area,” Tao said. (PB)


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
01/20/2007 CHINA
The Government: drinking water for 32 million farmers, but ten times more are left without
09/19/2009 CHINA
No way out of China’s cancer villages
01/17/2007 CHINA
Shandong farmers use water for drinking and irrigation from a river as black as ink
04/26/2007 CHINA
Pollution: Fujian farmers destroy machines of 11 factories
02/24/2011 CHINA
Millions of hectares of Chinese farmland polluted with heavy metals
CHINA
For the Chinese, pollution and the environment top list of problems
CHINA
Shandong farmers use water for drinking and irrigation from a river as black as ink
CHINA
Fish dying in Yellow River
CHINA
The Government: drinking water for 32 million farmers, but ten times more are left without

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.