In March, the State Oceanic Administration launched a three-month inspection of the maritime environment called "Along the Coast", the second in an annual series of national surveys. Senior officials visited seven coastal cities, including Rizhao in Shandong province and Shenzhen in Guangdong province, to supervise environmental conservation work.
According to the administration, all seven cities have been making great efforts to protect the environment, and each has a specific challenge. For example, Sanya, on the island province of Hainan, needs to strike a balance between tourism and conservation, while Rizhao, one of China's busiest ports, needs to find a way to develop its shipping industry without damaging the quality of the local marine environment.
China's proposals to establish the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road have resulted in closer attention being paid to oceanic affairs and maritime industries, the administration said.
Last year, under the theme "Promoting maritime culture and heritage", administration experts visited coastal cities such as Zhuhai in Guangdong province and Zhoushan in Zhejiang province to offer supervision of maritime industries and underwater archaeological work.
Archaeologists and experts on historical relics have been working to preserve an ancient wooden vessel containing a large number of historical artifacts in the coastal city of Yangjiang in Guangdong. The 21.58-meter-long, 9.55-meter-wide vessel, later dubbed South China Sea No 1, was salvaged from 30 meters below the surface of the South China Sea in late 2007.
By protecting and exhibiting cultural relics, the authorities hope to present an overview of China's long history of maritime development.(ChinaDaily.com.cn)