Fishing ban on Yellow River extended

By HOU LIQIANG| (China Daily)| Updated : 2022-02-25

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A fisherman in Zhenjiang, East China's Jiangsu province, dries his fishing nets to prepare for the fishing moratorium taking effect the next day, Feb 28, 2018. [Photo by SHI YUCHENG/FOR CHINA DAILY]

China will extend the annual fishing moratorium on the Yellow River, as central authorities attach increasing importance to protecting the country's second-longest watercourse.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs introduced an annual three-month moratorium on the Yellow River in 2018.

The ministry said, however, that from April 1 to the end of 2025, fishing will be banned outright in the river's source region and along key water bodies in its upper reaches.

In other sections of the Yellow River, the moratorium will be extended by one month to July 31.

"All fishing activities other than those using a rod for leisure will be banned during the moratorium," the ministry said in a news release issued on Tuesday.

The previous three-month moratorium has played a role in restoring aquatic biological resources in the Yellow River, the ministry said. The extension is expected to help enhance biodiversity conservation, intensify environmental protection and promote high-quality development in the river basin.

The conservation of the Yellow River basin has been a major concern of President Xi Jinping in recent years.

Xi has visited all the provincial-level regions the Yellow River runs through, and has been to its banks on multiple occasions. He has also hosted two symposiums dedicated to the Yellow River.

At the first one, in Zhengzhou, capital of Henan province, in 2019, Xi said the ecological protection and high-quality development of the Yellow River basin are a major national strategy.

When hosting a symposium in October in Jinan, capital of Shandong province, he said protecting the Yellow River basin was "the key task", underlining the priority he has consistently put on ecological civilization.

The adjustment to the fishing moratorium was made as the country's top legislature mulls writing a fishing moratorium in key water bodies of the Yellow River into a draft law.

Aside from the moratorium, a series of other measures, including building artificial breeding bases for endangered aquatic species, will also be rolled out to help remediate the ecosystem in the basin, according to the draft, which was submitted to a session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the country's top legislature, for a first reading late last year.

Projects that hinder the breeding migration of fish will be required to build channels to facilitate their passage. Efforts will also be made to enhance connections between rivers and lakes, it said.