• Fri
  • Dec 26, 2014
  • Updated: 8:53am

Hard times

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 August, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 30 August, 1999, 12:00am

Last June, a long-running battle between Canadian and US fishermen in the Pacific Northwest of North America was settled with a comprehensive agreement under the Pacific Salmon Treaty (PST).


With commercial and sports fishermen in Alaska, British Columbia and Washington State, all competing for dwindling stock, during the past decade, overfishing threatened to wipe out the valuable salmon runs.


Last year, the Canadian Government adopted unprecedented measures including a complete closure where stocks were threatened, implementing a buy-back programme of boat licences to reduce its commercial fleet and helping fisherman and fishing communities to adjust to a changing fishery.


Under the PST, a joint commitment was pledged by the two nations to put the fish first through a conservation-based approach to protecting and restoring salmon habitat.


Conservation measures have also been practised widely in local waters during recent years as the mainland Agriculture Ministry imposed a fishing ban in the northern part of the South China Sea this past June and July. While fishermen reported bumper catches following the lifting of the ban, several had suffered economic hardship during the two-month layoff as Inside Story (World, 7pm) found out.


According to government figures, $65 million in loans were made to 1,350 fishermen to get them through the period.


While the fishermen do not want additional restraints placed on their livelihood, a movement towards greater conservation efforts could bring more hardship.


Hong Kong's productivity will likely suffer, but football fans will be in their element with the launch of the new Cable Sports Channel 2. Every night from 9pm to 6am on Channel 5, the channel which broadcasts YMC during the day, will air international sporting programmes.


Wharf Cable has been vague on what the programming will entail, but it will include a minimum 128 live Italian League football matches allowing viewers to get their fill of Ronaldo, Gabriel Batistuta, Leonardo, Christian Vieri, Oliver Bierhoff and Paolo Maldini.


A spokesman for Wharf said the channel was launched due to the overwhelming response to English Premier League action on Channel 6. Tonight's match at 2.30am sees Sven Goran Eriksson's Lazio, fresh from their UEFA Super Cup victory over Manchester United, taking on the Sardinian side Cagliari.


Lots of live sport today as ESPN has baseball at 8am as St Louis Cardinals host the league-leading Atlanta Braves. At 8pm, there is bowling with the Hong Kong Masters Cup (ESPN). Star Sports has first round coverage of the US Open tennis at 11pm while Cable Sports Channel 6 has Premier League football at 2.30am as Leicester City meet Watford.


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