Fishing Ban Starts On China's Largest Lake

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
22 March 2010, at 12:00am

CHINA - The annual fishing ban has begun on China's largest freshwater lake, Poyang Lake.

About 100,000 fishermen living around the Poyang, China's largest freshwater lake, have docked their vessels for a three-month annual fishing ban.

The seasonal ban, in place since 2002, is considered crucial to sustain the lake's ecology and fishing resources, according to official sources.

Though he will be left without a job until 20 June, Deng Shenghua, a fisherman in the eastern Jiangxi Province, said he would cooperate as usual.

"I know it's important to ban fishing in the spring spawning season," he said. "When the ban ends in three months, fishing actually becomes easier."

During the ban, local authorities will patrol the water as well as local markets and restaurants to guard against illegal fishing, said Guang Shaofei, an official with the provincial fishery bureau.

Meanwhile, the government would also provide training for the laid-off fishermen and encourage them to take temporary jobs in other industries.

Poyang Lake, at the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, China's longest waterway, has suffered a decline in fish reproduction for two decades, a result of overfishing, pollution and depletion of sand in the lake area.

But nine consecutive years of the spring fishing ban has helped improve the lake ecology, said Guang. "Last year, the lake reported a 7.3 per cent year-on-year rise in fish output."

Poyang Lake, covering 3,583 square kilometres, is home to at least 140 fish varieties.