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Graphics: Biodiversity and ecological health in the South China Sea


China, the largest coastal nation bordering the South China Sea, has made significant strides in protecting the marine environment. Over the past five years, the region's biodiversity and ecological health have seen remarkable improvements.

Recent data shows that the diversity of phytoplankton, zooplankton and large benthic organisms in coastal waters has remained stable or even increased. Monitoring efforts have expanded, yielding positive results. Around the Xisha Islands, nearly 50 species of live corals have been identified, with coral coverage of 21.5 percent. About 120 species of reef fish have also been identified, indicating a thriving coral reef ecosystem.

Graphics: Biodiversity and ecological health in the South China Sea

Environmental data from 2019 to 2023 underscore these advancements. The total area of the South China Sea that fails to meet the Seawater Quality Standard Grade I has significantly decreased. It shrank to 6,900 square kilometers in 2023, down by 5,870 square kilometers from 2019, reflecting better overall water quality. Seawater in the oil and gas regions and adjacent areas also meets the Grade I standard.

Regions with eutrophic conditions have also seen substantial reductions, pointing to less nutrient pollution and healthier waters. These findings highlight ongoing improvements in the South China Sea's biodiversity and ecological health, underscoring the importance of continued monitoring and conservation efforts to sustain these positive trends.

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