The first finless porpoise rescue center on China's Yangtze River opened Saturday in the eastern Jiangxi Province.
The state-level center consists of one central station in the provincial aquatic products scientific institution in the capital city Nanchang and three sub-stations in the counties of Xingzi, Hukou and Duchang.
The center took two years to build and cost 5.43 million yuan (about US$656,590).
Qian Xin'e, director of the provincial fishery bureau, said the center will cover more than 5,000 square km waters of China's biggest freshwater lake Poyang Lake and Yangtze River's Jiangxi section, measuring 152 kilometers.
A finless porpoise monitoring and rescue network, centered in Jiangxi, has taken shape, the official said.
China's finless porpoises are on the verge of extinction due to environmental pollution and the change of aquatic ecology.
The Ministry of Agriculture says China has about 1,000 finless porpoises, 63 of which live in the Poyang Lake and Yangtze River's Jiangxi section.
(eastday.com March 27, 2005)