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Yangtze River fishing ban sees solid progress: official

Updated: Jul 15,2020 02:45 PM    Xinhua

BEIJING — The fishing ban in key waters of China's Yangtze River basin has seen marked results, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on July 15.

In the country's latest move to protect biodiversity, nearly 100,000 fishermen on 80,000 boats have given up their nets so far, Yu Kangzhen, vice-minister of agriculture and rural affairs, told a news conference.

Provincial regions including Shanghai, Jiangxi and Yunnan have shut down fishing operations ahead of schedule, said Yu.

However, challenges remain with illegal fishing yet to be cracked down on in some areas, according to Yu.

The country called for solid efforts to implement the fishing ban and ensure the livelihoods of affected fishermen after they bid farewell to their nets and boats, according to a circular released last week by the General Office of the State Council.

Local governments should make targeted plans to relocate fishermen and help them find new jobs, while increasing funding to ensure subsidies for the affected, said the circular, stressing special campaigns to crack down on illegal fishing along the river.

China began a 10-year fishing moratorium from the beginning of this year in 332 conservation areas in the Yangtze River basin, which will be expanded to all the natural waterways of the country's longest river and its major tributaries from no later than Jan 1, 2021.

The full-scale ban is likely to affect more than 113,000 fishing boats and nearly 280,000 fishermen in 10 provincial regions along the river, according to earlier estimations.