China’s State Oceanic Administration (SOA) released Sunday a manifesto to push forward the construction of marine nature reserves in a bid to better protect endangered species and relics under the sea.

“Climate warming, environmental pollution and excessive exploitation among other resource problems are posing severe dangers to the health of the ocean’s ecology,” said the document issued here during a celebration on the 20th anniversary of the country’s work on marine nature reserves.

According to the document, the SOA promised to enlarge the overall marine nature reserves to 3 percent of the country’s entire marine territories by the year 2015, and 5 percent by 2020.

The document noted that the current reserves did not cover all key marine ecological systems in the country yet, and the construction and management work of these areas would be “long and arduous.”

Currently, only 1.12 percent of the country’s marine territories are listed as marine nature reserves.

SOA vice head Wang Fei said the administration will strengthen the supervision and management of marine nature reserves, and explore ways to coordinate the use of oceanic resources and the protection of marine ecological environment.

Statistics from the SOA show that the country has 201 marine nature reserves in 11 coastal regions, covering some 3.3 million hectares.