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China's oceanic environment healthy in 2011: gov't report

(Xinhua)

09:10, June 26, 2012

BEIJING, June 25 (Xinhua) -- China's oceanic environment was "basically healthy" in 2011, with 95 percent of the country's territorial waters reaching the highest quality specified by national standards, according to a government report issued on Monday.

The report on China's oceanic environment for 2011, issued by the State Oceanic Administration, said that red tides, which largely occur in the East China Sea, occurred at the lowest frequency seen in five years and resulted in fewer disasters.

However, water quality for 44,000 square km of China's seas was found to be below the minimum national standard, the report said.

Heavily polluted areas were mainly scattered around large- and medium-sized gulfs, as well as waters adjacent to large- and medium-sized coastal cities, the report said.

According to the report, a total of 16.73 million tonnes of wastewater was discharged into the sea in 2011, while more than 70 percent of wastewater discharges failed to meet national standards.

Although water quality generally improved, oil spills still posed an environmental threat last year, the report said.

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