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Southern China, Vietnam to Hong Kong
Gan, Z.; Shicun, Z.; Wen, Y. (2000). Southern China, Vietnam to Hong Kong, in: Sheppard, C.R.C. (Ed.) Seas at the millennium: an environmental evaluation: 2. Regional chapters: The Indian Ocean to The Pacific. pp. 549-560
In: Sheppard, C.R.C. (Ed.) (2000). Seas at the millennium: an environmental evaluation: 2. Regional chapters: The Indian Ocean to The Pacific. Pergamon: Amsterdam. ISBN 0-08-043207-7. XXI, 920 pp., more

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Document type: Review


Authors  Top 
  • Gan, Z.
  • Shicun, Z.
  • Wen, Y.

    The rapid economic development in South China, especially in the Pearl River delta, during the last two decades, has had a significant human impact on the coastal ecosystem. Increasing discharges of industrial wastewater, domestic sewage, agricultural wastewater, and particularly pig farm wastewater, have severely polluted the coastal water bodies by N, P and petroleum hydrocarbons. As a result, red tide events are occurring more frequently in the Pearl River mouth. The biodiversity of phytoplankton has also decreased due to increasing pollution. Contamination of petroleum hydrocarbons in commercially significant fishes and trace toxic organic compounds such as BHC, DDT, PCBs and P AHs in sediments are also widely detected in this area. Sediments in Macao estuary have been heavily contaminated by organochlorine compounds. Crude fishing methods, as well as uncontrolled fishing activities before 1997, have seriously reduced the fishery resources in this region. The increasing disregard of environmental impact of mariculture has also contributed to the eutrophication of the nearshore waters, and uncontrolled and unsustainable land reclamation has regularly destroyed excellent harbours, bays, spawning habitats of fishes and the natural coastal landscape on this coast of the South China Sea. The commencement of new "Management Regulations for Utilization of Marine Area in Guangdong" in 1996 and closed seasons for fishing from 1999 may prove to be effective in protecting the coastal environment. However, further control of water pollution in river catch- ments as well as the restoration of currently impacted river water environments are needed urgently before overall improvement of the coastal environment in the region can be achieved.

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