Although China has some of the most imposing coastlines in Asia, the country has recently been struggling to keep its coral reef populations afloat. Even so, the formations found off the mainland, particularly in the South China Sea, are considered to be some of the most impressive on the continent.
For a long time, China had been boasting a huge coral reef network stretching across its long mainland and revolving around an area measuring about 31,000 square kilometers.
Despite the fact that typhoons and other natural catastrophes have affected China quite heavily in the past 50-60 years, the coral reefs in the area remained largely intact until about 30 years ago when accelerated industrial and infrastructural growth began reducing coral populations quite drastically.
The South China Sea is one of the most interesting places in and around China, when it comes to coral reef formations. The sea is known for its unique distribution of atolls.
These formations are prevalent especially in areas like the reefs in the Xisha Is, the main body of Dongsha Is, and the Nansha Is, where more than half of the existing 120 reefs are atolls.
Almost 80% of China’s beautiful coral reef formations have had to suffer due to increased overfishing, continuing constructions (particularly the recent building of artificial islands) and the infrastructural and industrial growth process that the country has gone through in the past 30 years.
Despite efforts to adopt more sustainable methods of production and construction, China has yet to solve this pressing problem, and the beautiful reef formation around the Chinese coastlines are still in danger today.