Green Development

Zhuhai city praises progresses in building beautiful islands

Updated: Jun 12, 2023 Print
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Thirty-three islands in China were granted the title "Harmonious and Beautiful Islands" by the Ministry of Natural Resources on June 8, and four of them were in South China's Zhuhai city - namely Dong'ao, Wailingding, Guishan, and Sanjiao islands.

The Hezhou New Area has unique marine resources, especially its vast sea area. The Wanshan Archipelago is said by many to be like a string of pearls falling on the South China Sea, playing an important role as the maritime hub of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

The Big Wanshan, Wailingding, Guishan, and Dong'ao islands are four places with the inhabitants of the Wanshan Archipelago that still preserve the original fishing lifestyle. Thanks to rural vitalization, the islands have been promoting the transformation of the fishery and the integrated development of fishery and tourism.

Hezhou has been encouraging island towns to set up leisure fishery enterprises subordinated to local villages. They cooperate with marine aquaculture companies to cultivate a variety of leisure businesses - such as sea fishing and science popularization and education - striving to improve the added value of fisheries and achieve a substantial increase in the villages' collective incomes.

Moreover, Hezhou has finished 260 village renovation projects on the islands. All three towns have met the requirements to be considered livable towns, and seven villages have met the provincial standards to be designated beautiful and livable villages.


Guihai Village now shines after its renovation. [Photo courtesy Guanhai App]

The area has been focusing on constructing special cultural brands for each island. The Guishan-Sanjiao Island Cluster will feature red education, music culture, and yachting and sailing. The Wailingding-Dangan Island Cluster will feature parent-child leisure and beach camping, while the Dong'ao-Big Wanshan Island Cluster will feature wedding culture, photo-shoot tours, sea fishing, and rock climbing.

The comprehensive tourism income of the Wanshan Archipelago in the first quarter of 2023 surged by 407.24 percent year-on-year to 161 million yuan ($22 million). The collective income of towns and villages on the islands jumped by 169 percent year-on-year to 31.37 million yuan.

Efforts have also been made to boost the development of modern marine fishery activities such as deep-sea farming and fishing.

The "Dehai One" aquaculture net cages near Zhenxiang Island, which is only five minutes' sailing from Guishan Island, is the world's first 10,000-metric-ton intelligent aquaculture and fishing farm with a composite structure of a floating body and truss. With a total breeding area of 30,000 square meters (1,186 sq rd), the "Dehai One" aquaculture net cages are able to yield 450 tons marine fish a year.

Hezhou will give priority to the breeding of new varieties that are suitable for deep-sea farming, such as golden pomfret, sea bass, and white prawns.

Phases I and II of Guishan Island's offshore wind plant have been put into operation, allowing residents in several nearby islands to enjoy the same electricity prices as downtown Zhuhai. The plant's total power generation was close to 500 million kilowatt hours in 2022, saving overall standard coal consumption of about 160,000 tons, while reducing carbon dioxide emissions of about 381,900 tons.

The project in south Hezhou, which features the integration of fishery and photovoltaic power generation, is currently under construction. Once operational, it will be capable of generating 2.38 billion kWh of electricity annually, equivalent to 10 percent of Zhuhai's total consumption volume.

A batch of ecological projects is currently underway, treating and renovating the islands' mountains, beaches, and forestations. Seven have been completed on Dong'ao, Big Wanshan, and Guishan islands and in two historic mines.

In particular, the bay treatment and restoration project of Dong'ao Bay was the only one of its kind in South China's Guangdong province to be listed as a typical case of marine ecological protection and restoration in China. It restored a total area of 12,920 square meters (3.2 acres) of beaches and 708 meters (774 yd) of island shorelines.

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