January 19, 2004



China Ban Fishing On Yangtze River


A six-months fishing ban has been imposed in some parts of China's longest river, the Yangtze, with effect from February 1, the central government announced.


The ban will last until April 30 on the upper reaches from southwest China's Yunnan Province to central China's Hubei Province. From April 1 to June 30, it will cover the lower reaches of the river from Hubei to Shanghai.


The ban will include Poyang and Dongting lakes, two major lakes next to the river.


The measure would affect 100,000 people in ten provinces and regions, including 50,000 engaged in full-time fishing, said Chen Yide, deputy director of the Fishery Department of the Ministry of Agriculture. The government would assist fishermen with subsidies and other measures to minimize their loss of earnings.


The ban coincided with the spring season when the fish lay eggs, Chen said.


The ministry also planned to introduce 100,000 Chinese paddlefish fry, a species exclusive to the river, and 100 million common fish species fry to the Yangtze in April and May to increase fish stocks.


The authorities first implemented the ban on the Yangtze last year, when a survey showed the fishery output after the ban increased by a large margin compared with previous years.

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