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Early sea ice forces fisherman to rush scallop harvest  09:58, December 12, 2012

The sea off Laizhou Bay in East China's Shandong province is seen frozen in this picture taken December 10, 2012. (Photo/

Sea ice hit the Laizhou Bay in Shandong province earlier than expected this year, and local fishermen are rushing to harvest their scallops.

On Monday, three ports at Laizhou Bay saw sea ice, which appeared 20 days earlier than expected.

The sea ice currently extends one kilometer off the coast, with an average thickness of three to four centimeters, said Yuan Guopin, a an officer at the Haimiaokou Frontier Police Station. The ice will not affect fishing?vessels sailing in the area, Yuan said.

Huang Qiankun, a fisherman at the harbor, said local fishermen are rushing to harvest their scallops, since once the sea ice is too thick for fishing boats to travel they will not be able to collect scallops. Last winter, local fishermen lost one-third of their scallops due to sea ice.

Laizhou Bay is one of the largest breeding zones for scallops in Shandong, with 1,200 households breeding scallopzs and a yearly output of 300 million yuan ($48 million) to 500 million yuan.

Border police in Laizhou organized emergency service teams to ensure fishermen’s safety.

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