The Chinese Academy of Sciences has been studying the profuse species of fish in the South China Sea off Sisha Islands.
GV Fisherman in boat heading out to sea (3 shots)
GV Fisherman with mask and nets catching fish (4 shots)
CU Fisherman looking at brightly-coloured tropical fish (3 shots)
CU Fish being examined by scientists.
GV and CU Researchers measuring and examining specimens (5 shots)
GV Artists drawing them (2 shots)
CU Finished drawings of fish.
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Background: The Chinese Academy of Sciences has been studying the profuse species of fish in the South China Sea off Sisha Islands.
SYNOPSIS: A survey ship, containing scientists and fishermen heads out to sea. The fishermen offer their expertise, guiding the researchers to areas where they know certain species can be found. They seek out large shoals of the more common fish, such as tuna and red fish, or smaller colonies of much rarer species.
The programme typifies the broader sweeps of research into many fields of scientific activity that have been taking place throughout China in recent years. In a sense, the scientists are carrying out a census, but of species, rather than outright numbers.
From studies already carried out, they have declared that the warm waters of the South China Sea are a true paradise for fish. They have located and identified at least five hundred different kinds, many of them unusual and exotic.
There are several major ecological reasons why these waters are considered an almost ideal habitat for marine life, which includes turtles, sea cucumbers, oysters and hosts of tropical fish. The water has only slight seasonal variations in temperature; there is plenty of plankton for food to support abundant underwater life; and coral reefs are a safe refuge against predators for many smaller species. Academy staff artists are rendering illustrations in exquisite detail for reference books.
Marine life here should benefit from a forthcoming meeting of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore for oil pollution control in the Straits of Malacca between Malaysia and Indonesia. Their control scheme, for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) could become a pilot for oceanic sub-regions including the South China Sea.
The waters surrounding the Sisha Islands in the South China Sea abound in marine life. Turtles, sea cucumbers, oysters and a host of tropical fish thrive in the warm sea.
According to recent studies conducted on board a survey ship of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the offshore waters is a paradise of some 500 kinds of fish, among which tuna and red fish are the most numerous.
The warm sea water with slight seasonal variation in temperature, plenty of plankton and the safe refuge of corals make the area a perfect habitat for marine life.
These specimens are invaluable for the compilation of special books on China's marine resources undertaken by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.