Beijing: Chinese factories are discharging more than 2.8 billion tonnes of waste water besides seven lakh tonnes of other pollutants annually into Bohai Sea in the north and northeast China, severely damaging local environment, a report said.
Altogether, the Bohai Sea receives roughly half of all pollutants in China's waters. This has severely affected the local fishing industry, causing fishing resources to shrink dramatically from 30,000 tonnes to between 1,000 to 3,000 tonnes, according to a report by Beijing-based Economic Information Daily.
A growing number of factories in Hebei, Liaoning and Shandong provinces and Tianjin Municipality have contributed to the pollution.
The report said that waters close to a paper manufacturing plant in Shandong Province and a zinc factory in Liaoning Province had turned so toxic that the nearby seabed had become "a desert" with no marine life.
"The dense population and heavy industries in the Bohai Sea Economic Zone have led to large amounts of garbage and industrial pollutants going straight to the sea," Ma Jun, director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, was quoted as saying by state-run Global Times.
More than 260 million people live in the Bohai Sea Economic Zone.
According to a report on the state of marine life in Hebei Province in 2014, the water from 72 per cent of sewage outlets to the sea failed to meet quality standards.
"The development of the maritime industry has also polluted the Bohai Sea. For example, harbour construction and ship oil also affect the waters directly," Ma said.
The Tangshan and Qinhuangdao harbours, both in the Bohai Sea area, are ranked fourth and ninth nationwide in terms of container flow capacity, with more than 253,000 vessels plying into the sea, the Economic Information Daily reported.
Analysts have attributed the ecological deterioration to the lack of local government regulations as well as the lack of coordination and cooperation between different regions surrounding the sea.
Zhang Meizhi, a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference from Hebei Province, said many cities surrounding the Bohai Sea have failed to assign people to tackle maritime pollution.
She said maritime pollution monitoring teams have limited resources or lack manpower.
Analysts have also called for the enactment of a specific law to tackle pollution in the Bohai Sea.
"Local authorities need to strengthen supervision and increase penalties on enterprises' pollution discharge," Ma said.