Biodiversity in China
Within China's borders are four seas, 18,000 kilometers of coastline, and more than 13 million hectares of shallow seas and tideland. These inland and coastal waters are home to some of the world's most unique marine species, more than 20,000 in total.
China's eastern seaboard has also been ground zero for the country's impressive and rapid urbanization and development. Subsequently, the region's rich marine ecosystems and wildlife habitats - including coral reefs in the South China Sea, spotted sal habitats in the Bohai Sea, and miles of coastal wetlands - have suffered. The illegal wildlife trade is of particular concern in coastal regions of China, where marine animals such as sharks, sea turtles, and corals are in high demand for local delicacies and handicrafts.
Coral and sea turtles are critical to the health of China's marine biodiversity, but are smuggled from Southeast Asia in alarmingly huge quantities. Shark fin has been regarded as one of China's local delicacies and is widely served in major seafood restaurants throughout China and abroad. Dry shark fin products are also widely available for purchase in local supermarkets as souvenirs. Unfortunately, China dominates the international shark fin market.
Pacific Environment and our partners work to protect a variety of threatened marine species, including spotted seals, various seabird species, sea turtles, coral species, sharks, and salmon. Modern commerce and development have endangered many of these species, some to near extinction. Threats include land-based pollution, wetland destruction, climate change, population growth, over-consumption, and the lack of funding and enforcement of conservation initiatives. Overfishing has also taken a heavy toll on China's marine environment.
Lack of Awareness & Enforcement
Awareness about these wildlife trade issues is extremely low among Chinese consumers, and law enforcement is inadequate.
Pacific Environment and our partners work to protect threatened marine species, including spotted seals, various seabird species, sea turtles, coral species, sharks, and salmon. Together with our partners, we conduct investigations on the poaching and trading of various species and compile reports on current threats and trade status. We publish and distribute reports to raise media awareness and push for governmental measures, policy changes, and consumer action to reduce stress on these endangered marine species.
Learn more about how we work here.