China's Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) released a notice on Feb. 20 detailing arrangements for the implementation of the strictest fishing moratorium in history.
The MOA made adjustments to the moratorium at the end of last month. Since the earliest version of the regulation first went into effect 22 years ago, it has been considered extremely stringent.
According to the adjusted regulation, the moratorium now starts at 12 p.m. on May 1 every year in all of China's national waters, including the Bohai Sea, Yellow Sea, East China Sea and South China Sea north of the 12 degrees north latitude (Beibu Gulf included). The new adjustment extends the length of the moratorium and restrict more types of fishing operations.
China first implemented a fishing moratorium in 1995 to alleviate the huge pressure on marine fishery resources brought about by excessive fishing. Insiders believe that although the stricter moratorium may challenge the livelihoods of fishermen in the short term, the corresponding increase in seafood quality and prices will benefit China's fisheries in the long term.