Chinese researchers have spotted 11 whale species in the South China Sea during a deep-sea scientific expedition, the Chinese Academy of Sciences said Tuesday.
The 21-day expedition wrapped up Tuesday in Sanya, Hainan province, having covered over 3,000 km. It was launched to conduct research on the diversity, population levels and distribution patterns of whales in Xisha Islands and Zhongsha Islands in the South China Sea. A similar expedition to study whales was launched in 2019.
Researchers on this year's expedition spotted four whale species that were not seen last year: the pygmy killer whale, the false killer whale, Long-snouted spinner dolphin and the melon-headed whale.
The Hainan administration repeatedly stated it plans to constantly improve the environment, including the sea area adjacent to the island. Among the most promising projects contributing to the increase of biological diversity are the cultivation of coral reefs, work to increase the population of fish and marine animals, and the clean up of coastal areas near the largest cities in the region.
According to researchers, historical records show that over 30 whale species have been recorded in the South China Sea, indicating that the area boasts the country's greatest diversity of whale species.