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China launches oceanic environment survey

China, 16 July 2006: China launched its oceanic environment survey on July 15 to probe the conditions of its maritime space. The programme, sponsored by the National Bureau of Oceanography, will last two years and cover 1.02 million sq. km of sea area off China’s coasts. The research findings are expected to guide development of the maritime economy, tapping of oceanic resources, maritime disaster relief and prevention, and oceanic environmental protection.

Scientists will record data on water depths, waves, water levels, ocean currents, water temperatures and colors, mineral contents and plankton in four seasons. The programme is part of a comprehensive survey and evaluation project on China’s inshore ocean launched in 2003.

The first summer phase of the programme is expected to take 1.5 months and involve over 3,000 surveyors who will begin research from the northeast coast down to the south simultaneously, said Lei Bo, Vice Director of the National Bureau of Oceanography.