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China Drafts Law To Fight Illegal Fishing, Protect Stocks

China has encouraged public answers to draft legislation to stop illegal fishing and degradation of coastal fish stocks, as current laws are insufficient for sustainable development of the market, the agriculture ministry said Wednesday.

China is fighting to cure the damage done by overdevelopment of its lakes and ponds, with fish stocks affected not just by overfishing, but also industrial pollution and habitat disruptions brought on by dams and water diversions.

It’s enforced more stringent curbs on fishing in lakes, rivers and coastal regions, but a few species, like the Chinese sturgeon, stay on the edge of extinction.

The ministry called for a broader protection system for aquatic biodiversity, particularly on breeding plants, and attempts to stop illegal encroachment by fishing vessels on tidal flats and other secure locations.

Depleting coastal fish stocks made it essential to boost quota and licensing principles which have never been adequately enforced,” it stated.

New guidelines to enhance the oversight of vessels and maintain catches within specified limitations are needed, and China may even prepare a blacklist for lawbreaking vessels, both national as well as overseas.

The government also needed additional forces to look into the illegal actions of fishing operations and make sure that fishing vessels satisfy environmental and security criteria.

The rules permit confiscation of prohibited boats, with severe punishment because of their owners and owners.