In this Dec 18, 2017 photo, fishermen work during winter fishing in the Xiangshan Lake in Yinan county of Linyi City, east China's Shandong province. A four-month annual fishing ban covering the main streams, tributaries and lakes along the Yangtze, Huaihe, Minjiang and Pearl rivers began on March 1, 2018. (WANG YANBING / XINHUA)
NANJING/GUANGZHOU/SHANGHAI – A four-month annual fishing ban in China's rivers have come into effect from Thursday.
The ban – from March 1 to June 30 – covers the main streams, tributaries and lakes along the Yangtze, Huaihe, Minjiang and Pearl rivers.
Nearly 10,000 people and 1,000 vessels from 21 provincial regions will work to prevent illegal fishing and related activities during the ban
Nearly 10,000 people and 1,000 vessels from 21 provincial regions will work to prevent illegal fishing and related activities during the moratorium.
Local governments will provide allowances to fishermen affected by the ban.
The fishing restriction aims to protect aquatic resources and biodiversity as overfishing threatens resources, authorities said.
"The ban period covers the spawning season for most aquatic life in the rivers, which will boost aquatic resources and help maintain the ecological balance," said Chen Shi, an official in Jiangsu province.
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The annual fishing ban was initiated in 2002 for the Yangtze and Pearl rivers in 2011. The Yangtze is the country's longest river.
In a in a bid to better protect fish resources, the ban was extended from three months to four for the Yangtze River in 2016 and the Pearl River a year later.
The fishing ban has, to some degree, contained the deterioration of fishery resources along Chinese rivers, said Cheng Jianxin, a marine surveillance official.
In February, China announced it would initiate an annual fishing ban on the Yellow River, the second longest in the country, between April 1 and June 30 starting from this year.
Fishing for scientific studies, taming and breeding purposes during the ban period should be approved by provincial or higher level authorities.
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