China to prop up biodiversity with Pearl and Yangtze fishing bans
In an effort to rescue its declining wild fishing resources, China is planning to impose a broad fishing bans on the Pearl River and the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River starting next month.
The 2-month ban will cover the 2,400-kilometer Pearl River, China's third-longest river which runs through Guangdong province to Hong Kong as well as its tributaries and some lakes.
Meanwhile, a 3-month ban will affect the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, from Gezhouba Dam in Hubei province to Shanghai's Chongming Island.
Fishing is usually banned in the upper reaches of the country's longest river annually from February to the end of April to preserve biodiversity on the river, home to 1,100 aquatic species and to two-thirds of those on the list of protected wildlife .
Liu Tianrong, deputy director of the South China Sea Fishery Bureau, said on Tuesday that the ban on the Pearl River last year greatly helped improve fish varieties and increased fishermen's income as the number newly hatched fish increased by 67.5 percent in 2011 from 2006.
China has experienced a rapid growth in its fishery industry in recent years, with increasing aquatic product output and prices, as well as soaring exports.
The country's aquatic product output hit 56.1 million metric tonnes last year, a 4.4-percent annual increase, according to the fishery administration under the Ministry of Agriculture.