In DepthNatural Resources

China cracks down on coastal fisheries

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Science  12 May 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6338, pp. 573
DOI: 10.1126/science.356.6338.573

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Summary

Attempting to give its depleted fisheries a chance to recover, China last week launched its strictest ever moratorium in fishing in its coastal waters. The ban varies by location, type of fishing, and target fish, but most fisheries will be closed for up to 4 months. The effort is welcomed by fisheries experts worldwide. But some warn it has limited effectiveness, because fishers strive to make up for lost income once the ban lifts. China should also be working on fisheries management with its neighbors, because the stocks and interbreeding subpopulations tend to be shared. The ultimate solution, however, is reducing China's fishing fleet overcapacity. The government previously announced plans to shrink the fishing fleet and reduce the global catch to less than 10 million tons by 2020, down by 3.1 million tons from 2015.