Hainan, an island province in southern China, established its first marine animal rescue and breeding center on Thursday.
The blue ocean conservation and rescue center is located at Hainan Ocean Paradise in Li'an Port, Lingshui County.
With a total investment of 40 million yuan (6 million U.S. dollars), the center has a quarantine area, a breeding team as well as a veterinary hospital equipped with advanced medical equipment. It will undertake inspection and quarantine of imported animals and rescue of offshore marine life.
Hainan has seen a growing number of incidents in which marine animals become stranded in recent years. In 2016, a whale found on a beach eventually died, due in part to a lack of rescue experience and medical facilities.
China lags behind in urgent rescue of stranded marine animals, and the center hopes to narrow the gap, according to Zhu Jialin, chairman of Hainan Ocean Paradise.
A blue ocean conservation fund will also be launched at the center to focus on the rescue, rehabilitation and reintroduction of wild marine animals.