China needs marine exploration legislation

May 26, 1997 02:00 AM

May 8, 1997 Qin Zhongda and Yang Zhenhuai, members of the Eighth National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, said that China should formulate laws and regulations on developing marine resources as soon as possible. Chinese lawmakers noted that better use can be made of China's marine resources by drafting laws and improving management.
A comprehensive management system for co-ordinating rational development and utilisation of marine resources should be established eventually to protect marine resources and China's marine environment, they said.
China's marine output value has grown at a rate of 25 % annually since 1990, and was 287.7 billion yuan ($ 34.6 bn) last year, compared with 43.9 bn yuan in 1990, and 6.4 bn yuan in 1979.
Economists predict that the increase will be higher than that for the national economy. Offshore oil exploration, tourism, the marine chemical industry, and other new marine industries are emerging as pillar industries in addition to marine fisheries, salt, and oceantransportation. In 1996, China's offshore oil output was 18 million tons.
Some hi-tech marine industries are expected to grow up in next century, such as desalination of seawater, direct utilisation of seawater, a marine pharmaceutical industry, marine mining, and utilisation of sea energy.
"China should list offshore exploration as part of its development strategy from now on so that it can have some achievements in this field in next century," Qin said, pointing to the fact that in recent years, many coastal countries have placed great importance on exploring marine resources and developing marine industries.
The total output value of the world's marine industries will surpass $ 1.5 trillion early in the 21st century, compared with $ 670 bn in 1992, and $ 13 bn in 1969.

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