August 03rd, 2012 | Global Times Boats prepare to set off after fishing ban comes to end
Thousands of fishermen in China’s southernmost province of Hainan are making preparations to set sail for the South China Sea, after a seasonal fishing ban was lifted Wednesday.
The moratorium started on May 16 to rehabilitate marine resources in the area.
According to data released by the Department of Ocean and Fisheries of Hainan Province, a total of 8,994 locally-registered fishing vessels were moored and more than 34,600 fishermen were asked to stay on land during the fishing ban.
Duan Deyu, deputy director of the Ocean and Fisheries Bureau of Sanya, Hainan, told the Global Times that most fishing boats are small and not equipped to sail great distances.
“We are offering financial support to the fishermen to help them build larger vessels. In the future, we will send supply ships and patrol vessels for their fishing trips,” said Duan.
Sansha, a prefecture-level city, was founded in July to administer more than 200 islets, sandbanks and reefs in Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha islands and their surrounding waters in the South China Sea.
Liang Yapai, head of a fishing cooperative in Sanya, told the Global Times on Thursday that he and the other fishermen were extremely happy that the government had established Sansha.
“We are happy to get supply goods and the protection of patrol vessels from the Sansha government,” said Liang. “There used to be very few fishermen in Xisha and Nansha islands. Now more and more people are coming.”
Duan said the government will improve its emergency mechanisms, citing typhoons and harassment against fishermen by some neighboring countries.
By Bai Tiantian