Yellow Sea habitats are unparalleled in the world and support incredible biodiversity:

  • ~2 million shorebirds rely on the Yellow Sea during migration = ~40% of all migratory shorebirds using the East- Asian-Australasian Flyway
  • 339 fish species, of which around 45% are warm water, 46% warm temperate and 9% cold temperate species
  • ~100 polychaete, 171 mollusc, 107 crustacean and 22 echinoderm species
  • endangered marine mammals including: black right whale, white fin dolphin, Kurile harbour seal, spotted or largha seal, Japanese sea lion and the striped dolphin

Key Threats to Biodiversity in the Yellow Sea include urban and coastal development – 40% of coastal wetlands have been lost, increasing demand for water, damming of river, pollution and invasive species.


Our Work to Protect Habitats and Biodiversity

The YSLME Phase II Project is now working to conserve biological diversity and maintain current areas of habitats in the Yellow Sea in the following ways. A Habitat Conservation Regional Working Group (RWG-H) has been established to assist in this process.

Strengthening the Yellow Sea’s Marine Protected Area Network

  • Strengthening collaboration between existing MPAs
  • Identifying opportunities for new potential MPAs and expanding coverage
  • Providing training and promoting the concept of connectivity into MPA networ design
  • Supporting research to better understand the distribution, abundance and functions of coastal and marine habitats and species to ensure effective siting, design and monitoring of MPAs
  • Organizing a forum in 2019 to support the development of the 2019-2030 YSLME Biodiversity Conservation Plan

Future Priorities

  • Create a Regional Biodiversity Conservation Plan
  • Develop regional guidelines to assess the effectiveness of coastal and marine ecosystem restoration projects
  • Conduct a regional assessment of coastal and marine habitats, and species of concern
  • Study the effects or climate change and other anthropogenic stressors on habitats and biodiversity

Training on MPA Connectivity, 23-24 July 2018


Marine Protected Areas as a Nature-Based Solution for the Yellow Sea, December 2018

Xiaoyangkou wetland considered a national marine protected area, March 2018