China to impose annual fishing ban in Yellow River
Fishing to be halted for three months each year to help preserve fish stocks and wildlife, report says
China will ban fishing in the Yellow River between April 1 and June 30 every year starting from 2018, state-run news agency Xinhua reported on Monday, citing a statement from the Ministry of Agriculture.
It is the first time China’s government has banned fishing in the river.
The aim is to protect aquatic organisms and life in the Yellow River as excessive fishing threatens fishery resources. The ban would also be enforced across 13 tributaries and three major lakes, the report said.
China has introduced an annual fishing ban in the Yangtze River since 2002 and in the Pearl River since 2010. The Yellow River is the second-longest river in China after the Yangtze.
It originates in Qinghai province in the northwest and flows through central and northern parts of the country, including Gansu, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Henan and Shandong provinces and the Inner Mongolia and Ningxia regions.
Some areas, such as Ningxia and Gansu, have introduced fishing bans in the Yellow River during certain periods. However, illegal fishing remains rampant due to a lack of coordinated regulatory enforcement.
China is also considering imposing annual fishing bans in more rivers.
Environmental groups have said water quality in the Yellow River is severely polluted and that it is unfit for drinking, fisheries and agriculture.
The agriculture ministry said China’s fishery output dropped by 7.4 per cent in November 2017 from the same period in 2016.
The ministry implemented regulations last year to reduce the country’s fishery output to less than 10 million tonnes by 2020.
The number of fishing vessels in China has dropped by more than 5,000, according to the agriculture ministry.