China plans to reduce its fishing output in the next four years, said a senior official withthe Ministry of Agriculture Friday.
Alarmed by a sharp drop in fishery resources, China has pledgedsince 1999 not to increase its fishing output -- and has kept its word for the past three years.
The fishing output of the year 2000 dropped by 1.35 percent from 1999, and in the first 11 months of last year it totaled 12.96 million tons, down 2.67 percent from the same period of 2000.
However, the fish populations have kept shrinking and the environment of rivers, lakes and the sea has become rougher for fish due to worsening pollution. "This pushed the ministry to cut the output," said Yang Jian, director of the Fishery Bureau under the ministry.
The government will issue the first-ever seasonal ban on commercial fishing along its longest river, the Yangtze, this spring after six years of seasonal fishing bans in the Yellow Sea,East and South China Sea.
The ministry said it will have a firm control over the increaseof fishing boats this year and plans to ban 30,000 boats from operating over the next four years. The total number of fishing boats has remained stable in China since 1998 due to the rigid government control.
The breeding of aquatic products will see a mild growth in a couple of years while fishing output is coming down, Yang said. The yield of bred aquatic products is expected to account for 67 percent of the total domestic output.