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The coastline of Hainan island is 'growing'

Updated: 2018-02-08

Data released by the Hainan Provincial People's Government on Feb 7 reveal that the coastline of Hainan island now stretches 1,944.35 kilometers, an increase of 121.51 km since 2008.

With higher survey and measurement precision, more points of measurement, and larger mapping scale, the actual status of the coastline, including its irregularity, is reflected more accurately. The greater precision in measurement is the main reason for the substantial increase in the total length of the coastline. 

The natural or undeveloped coastline is 1,272.61 km, accounting for 65.45 percent of the total coastline of Hainan island, which is far higher than 35 percent, the average national rate of undeveloped coastline retention.

According to the survey, in addition to the increase in the total length of the coastline, the proportion of coastline with a moisture-resistant embankment has risen sharply, as has the mangrove forest coastline.

"Compared with the results of the coastline survey in 2008, the proportion of moisture-resistant embankment coastline in Hainan island had increased three-fold from 3.5 percent to 10.25 percent by 2016, and the proportion of mangrove forest coastline had grown from 8.43 percent to 11.62 percent, a remarkable increase," said Chen Gang, director of the Maritime Administration Office of the Department of Ocean and Fisheries of Hainan province.

According to officials from the Department of Ocean and Fisheries of Hainan province, the next step is to divide the coastline into three categories based on natural resource conditions and acceptable degrees of development, namely, strict protection, restricted development and optimal utilization. The department is formulating an annual plan for coastline protection and utilization, making coastline protection a red line in ecological protection management.