Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Han Changfu paid an inspection tour to Jiujiang, Jiangxi Province on November 14-15. He reviewed China's progress of banning and withdrawing from fishing operation in the Yangtze River, calling for unrelenting efforts to continue the fishing moratorium in an effective way. He reiterated the great importance of proper disposal of decommissioned fishing boats and nets, enhanced law enforcement capacity building, and more support in fishermen's employment and livelihoods.
The Minister visited Duchang and Hukou counties of the Poyang Lake region and talked with local fisheries authorities. He noted that the current long-term protection mechanism for rare and endangered aquatic species like the Yangtze finless porpoises, should be further upgraded with a view to improve the aquatic biodiversity conservation and ecological rehabilitation of the Yangtze River.
In his visit to the Joint Patrol Law Enforcement Center located in the island of Sheshan, Minister Han was briefed with the mechanism of joint law enforcement of fisheries, public security and maritime affairs authorities. It was quite impressive for the Center to use specific technical means to implement comprehensive monitoring and collect evidence of illegal fishing across all Poyang Lake waters, especially the radar system and HD cameras. The Minister noted that the fishing ban would run for ten years and its implementation relies on sustained law enforcement efforts, instead of a couple of crack down campaigns. The Minister emphasized that we should enhance law enforcement capacity building, improve the long-term management mechanism and strengthen regulation.
Minister Han also highlighted the importance of safeguarding the livelihoods of local fishing households. He had talks with fishermen of Huxin Island, asking them about their reemployment and compensation schemes. He required local authorities to roll out further pro-fishermen policies to create more jobs and income-generation opportunities for them.
Chief Agronomist and Director-General of the General Office of MARA Guang Defu also participated in this field tour.