Expert urges seafood safety inspections after Bohai Bay oil leaks

17:25, July 12, 2011      

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A senior Chinese oceanic expert has urged strict safety checks of seafood caught in the country's northern Bohai Bay, part of which was polluted by two oil spills last month.

Local governments along the coast of the Bohai Sea should enhance their inspections of non-farmed seafood in the Bohai after the annual fishing ban is lifted, according to Cui Wenlin, director of the environmental monitoring center with the North China Sea Branch of the State Oceanic Administration (SOA).

The seafood from the Bohai being sold in the market is uncontaminated, because fishing is currently prohibited in the Bohai to preserve oceanic resources and no spilled oil has been detected in the coastal fish farms, said Cui. "But after the annual fishing ban is lifted in September, safety checks of seafood should be beefed up."

The environmental monitoring center Cui directs has been monitoring the impacts of the oil spills on the Bohai's water quality, seabed sediments and marine life.

The leaks, which took place respectively in platform-B and platform-C of the Penglai 19-3 oilfield in Bohai Bay, made the water quality in an area of 840 square km fall to the lowest of the SOA's four categories. The spilled oil has also been detected in seabed sediment samples taken near the oil field.

Only some leaked oil was recovered and some had mixed into the water or sunk into the deep sea, Cui said.
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