Biosphere Reserve Information


Nanji Islands


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Nanji Island is the main island of a group of 15 islands and islets, situated in the south-eastern waters of Pingyang County, Zhejiang Province, in south-east China. This was the first marine/coastal biosphere reserve in China. The 28 km long coastline consists of exposed bedrock and sharp cliffs, bays and islets. The biosphere reserve offers a multitude of diverse marine habitats which host a rich number of shellfish and algae species. Fifteen of the identified 403 species of shellfish have been found only in the Nanji waters. The shellfish and algae are intermittently distributed in the tropical and temperate marine realms, which makes this species-rich site even more important for conservation and scientific research. These species are concentrated in the core areas, which consist of two islets and a portion of Nanji Island and their surrounding waters, with an area of 663 hectares. The total area, including the transition area, is 20,629 hectares.

About 2,500 people of Han origin live permanently on the islands (1998) and the main activities are fish production and trade, while tourism is becoming more and more important, with approximately 30,000 tourists per year (1998). Due to large-scale collection and harvesting in the past few decades, the marine and terrestrial life is degraded to various degrees and therefore one of the management challenges is to restore and protect these resources. One attempt to decrease the damage caused by this random collection and harvesting consists of demonstration projects established to promote aquaculture. Other efforts will be made to conduct breeding and culture of young shellfish and algae.

Administrative Authorities

The State Ocean Administration The Environmental Protection Bureau of Zhejiang Province, the comprehensive supervising and inspecting department The Nanji Islands Nature Reserve Administration


Contact Address


Nanji Islands Nature Reserve Administration, No.215, 9 Building of local government, Pingyang County, 325400 Zhejiang Province, China

(+86) 577 63716151


(+86) 577 63716152




27°24'00''N - 27°30'00''N


120°56'00''E - 121°08'00''E

Area (hectares)

Surface Area


Core Area


Buffer Area


Transition Area



Last updated: 2007

Designated year: