The central government will continue its spring fishing ban on the Yangtze River, China's longest, in 2005 to help protect depleting fish resources, the fishery department of the Ministry of Agriculture said.
The ban will last from Feb. 1 until April 30 on the river's upper reaches, stretching from southwest China's Yunnan Province to central Hubei Province. On the lower reaches, the ban will be from April 1 to June 30.
The ban will include Poyang and Dongting lakes, two major lakes next to the river, said Pan Peng, deputy director for the resources protection section under the department.
All fishing methods will be covered by the ban, said Pan, adding that if the state-level fry breeding farms need to fish for fry or scientific institutes need to fishing for doing researches, they have to obtain approval from the ministry. The ban coincides with the spring, when the fish lay eggs.
The measure will affect 50,000 full-time and 240,000 part-time fishermen in ten provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions, acknowledged Pan. But the local governments would assist fishermen with subsidies and other substantial measures to minimize their loss of earnings.
In addition to the fishing ban, the ministry also plans to introduce fish fry to the river to increase the quantity of resources. Statistics from the ministry shows that the governments at various levels have put 580 million fish fry into the river in the past three years.
The authorities first implemented the ban on the lower reaches of the river in 2002 on a trial basis. In the following year, the central government extended the trial to the whole river basin.
(Xinhua News Agency January 19, 2005)