Oil spill severely damages Dalian's travel and farmed seafood industries

Press release - 2010-07-22
Investigations by Greenpeace China reveal that Dalian’s seafood farming and tourism industries have taken critical hits from the recent oil spill.

This worker scoops up dead snails at a farm that raises shellfish

The popular beach of Boshiwan, 17 kilometers from the site of the spill, usually welcomes an average of 60,000 people each day, but now the visitors are few and far-between. Clean-up workers have covered the beach in straw mats to absorb the thick crude, while residents look on from the piers. One resident who keeps a small shop on the beach said, "Previously I could count on an income of RMB 3,000 each day from selling souvenirs and bathing suits, but now there's nobody. I can't sell a single cent worth of goods."

beach covered in straw mats

Known as the "Garden Retreat of Dalian," the Jinshitan Golden Beach is 35 kilometers away from the site of the spill, but it, too, has not escaped the spreading oil. Local seafood farmers are severely impacted: over 10,000 shellfish farms have already been contaminated by oil. A large part of the shellfish at Mr. Wu's farm, which extends over 65 acres, has died from petroleum poisoning. In the last six days, the price of shellfish has fallen by 15%. "We've lost not only this crop, but also all of the shellfish seed from last year. I've lost more than three million yuan," said Mr. Wu.

oil-contaminated mollusks

Greenpeace will continue to monitor the effect of the pipeline explosion and oil spill on the ocean water, ecology, and wildlife, as well as the lives of Dalian's residents.

"It is impossible to completely clean up an oil spill. The damage can never be undone. The oil spill will continue to impact the environment and the people here for a long, long time," says Greenpeace activist Zhong Yu. "Along the 145km-long coastline of Dalian Bay, there are 2 natural reserves, 9 seafood farming areas, 6 scenic areas, and 7 ocean protection zones. None of these areas can escape the oil, and they will continue to be affected years and even decades from now."

Greenpeace strongly urges the Chinese government as well as the relevant industries to carry out a full investigation of the environmental impact, and take all necessary measures to alleviate the damage as much as possible.

From the Gulf of Mexico to Dalian Bay to the countless mining casualties in China, it is tragically evident that economic development cannot be built upon dirty fossil fuels such as oil and coal. Greenpeace calls for an immediate energy revolution as the only real and absolute solution to avoiding disasters like these. We must not only improve energy efficiency and develop renewable energy resources, but also move away from fossil fuels for a clean, sustainable energy future.

Other contacts:

Jason Li, Greenpeace Media Officer
+86 1391 105 0690 +86 10 6554 6931 ext. 157

Yin Kuang, Photo Editor
, +86 10 6554 6931 ext. 167