Marine pollution hotspots, or areas which receive severe pollution loads, is a known menace that often has disastrous effects. Found mainly in enclosed and/or semi-enclosed bodies of water like bays and river mouths, these areas are associated with highly urbanized and densely populated cities. They pose a constant threat to public health, coastal resources, and the integrity of coastal ecosystems.
In East Asia, high levels of pollutants have been found in a number of bays, gulfs and inner seas. In the South China Sea alone, there are more than 35 pollution hotspots and 26 "sensitive" and "high pollution risk" areas. Northern China's Bohai Sea is also considered a pollution hotspot due to the tremendous amounts of land-based pollutants being discharged in the area. In the Philippines, the Manila Bay is constantly threatened by pollution, as well as overfishing, uncontrolled coastal development and habitat degradation.
Although some site-specific effective management has been achieved, progress to reduce the effects of pollution being hampered by the rate and scale of pollution we face. Thus, marine pollution hotspots are currently being prioritized in order to concentrate management efforts.
Examples of pollution hotspots are the Bohai Sea, Straits of Malacca, Manila Bay and Gulf of Thailand.