SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Manila Buletin]  May 1, 2017

Some 1,200 fishing boats from Xiangshan, east China’s Zhejiang Province, returned to port on Sunday as a seasonal fishing moratorium is set to begin on Monday May 1 in the East China Sea.

From May 1, no fishing will be allowed in all of China’s national waters including the Bohai Sea, Yellow Sea, East China Sea and South China Sea. Fishing north of the 12 degrees north latitude, except for conventional angling or other approved methods, will also be restricted, according to a statement by the Ministry of Agriculture.

The bans in the Bohai Sea and the Yellow Sea above the 35 degrees north latitude, are set to end on September 1. As for the East China Sea and the South China Sea, the bans will end on August 1 and August 16, respectively.

This year’s fishing moratorium, which some media have labeled as “the toughest season”, starts about one month earlier than previous bans. However, the bans have been prolonged by an equal amount of time, compensating for the timing adjustments.

Meanwhile, the fishing ban has triggered a price surge in aquatic products in some parts of China. “The price of butterfish has jumped up from 18 yuan per jin (500g) to 30 yuan per jin. And it’s really hard to buy one,” a seafood retailer told Xiamen Daily, the city’s local newspaper in south China’s Fujian Province.

China first implemented a fishing moratorium in 1995, with aims of protecting fisheryresources and curbing excessive fishing.

In order to further protect marine resources, the Ministry of Agriculture will work to achieve a negative growth in catch, China National Radio reported citing Vice Minister Yu Kangzhen. He also said the ministry aims to reduce its marine catch to less than 10 million tons, 3.09 tons lower than that of in 2015.