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1 . China     China
Although China has a substantial coastline facing the South China Sea there is little or no true reef development along any of it. Hainan, a large island in the mouth of the Gulf of Tongking, was once reported as having substantial fringing reef communities along parts of its southern coast, but a number of sites originally described in the 1950s were revisited in 1984 and found to have all but disappeared. Significant fringing reef structures around Shalao on the east coast and Xincun Bay in the southeast were visited in 1990 and found to be largely made up of dead coral rubble with only occasional live corals. The most extensive and diverse fringing reef communities are found in the area around Sanya where, in 1978, coral cover was reported as 50-90 percent on the East Reefs and 60 percent on the West Reef. These figures were reported to have fallen to 40-60 percent and 30-40 percent respectively by 1990, while many species had disappeared. Similarly important and diverse communities have also been reported off the islets in Yalong Bay just southeast of Sanya. The principal threats include coral mining for construction, blast fishing and the collection of corals for handicrafts. There are now reported to be efforts to protect and manage these reefs.
Source: Spalding, M.D., C. Ravilious and E.P. Green , 2001 , World Atlas of Coral Reefs . Prepared at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre. University of California Press,Berkeley,USA.421p. (See Document)

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