China Vows to Curb Fishing Catch to Protect Ecosystems
The decision to reduce the fishing fleets was “certainly a good thing to do”, but not enough. Image: wordpress.com
With the world's largest fishing fleet, China's annual sea catch has hit 13 million tons in recent years, although the allowed volume is set between 8 million to 9 million tons China's Ministry of Agriculture reported.
The Ministry said there were practically “no fish” in the coastal East China Sea and fishermen also had a hard time finding a catch in many other coastal waters. The depletion of fishery resources has driven many fishermen to risk their lives by illegally fishing in other countries' waters.
In order to protect fish stock as well as ease the destruction of marine ecosystem, China's Ministry of Agriculture has planned to cut the number of fishing vessels and encourage fisher folks to operate tourism related business such as recreational fishery other than actual fishing activities, according to Agriculture Minister Han Changbin.
China has already taken several steps to curb overfishing, including banning nets with extremely small holes that catch very young fish and sea creatures.
The decision to reduce the fishing fleets was “certainly a good thing to do”, but not enough, said Professor Cai Shengli, a marine biologist at the College of Fisheries and Life Science at Shanghai Ocean University.
China consumes more than a third of the world’s seafood supply. The World Bank forecasts demand for seafood in China will increase by another 30% by 2030. A possible solution was to convert trawler men to fish farmers, suggested Cai.