Fishermen withdraw from Yangtze River
Updated 22:54, 15-Dec-2020
A fishing boat is seen in the Yangtze River. /VCG

A fishing boat is seen in the Yangtze River. /VCG

China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs held a press conference on Tuesday to introduce the phased results of the ban on fishing in key waters of the Yangtze River Basin and the next work arrangement. 

"Fishing boats and fishermen in the key waters have basically completed the withdrawal work" said Ma Yi, director of the Yangtze River Office of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, at the press conference.

In order to reverse the deterioration of the ecological environment of the Yangtze River, China has taken the river's 10-year fishing ban as a major task, said Ma, adding that 332 key water areas of aquatic biological protection areas in the Yangtze River Basin have completely banned productive fishing since January 1, 2020, and the retreat of the main stream of the Yangtze River has also been fully launched. 

After building files and cards on a boat-by-boat and house-by-house basis, 10 provinces and cities along the Yangtze River approved a total of 111,000 fishing boats and 231,000 fishermen.

The "10-year ban on fishing" in the Yangtze River affects the livelihoods of 230,000 fishermen. Consequently, how to protect the quality of their lives has also become the focus of the conference.

"As of December 4, 11.46 billion yuan of subsidy funds had been given to these fishermen by central and local governments," said Jiang Dayu, deputy director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the Ministry of Finance.

"Except providing money, through measures of development of related industries, support for entrepreneurship and public welfare job placement, 165,000 people have been converted to other industries for employment by December 11," Jiang said.

In the next step, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs will continue to work with relevant departments at all levels to strengthen the settlement of fishermen, provide employment assistance, improve long-term management mechanisms, and simultaneously severely crack down on illegal fishing, and continue to strengthen the protection of biodiversity, according to Ma.

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