søndag 26. juli 2020

Generations of fishers say goodbye to a way of life as China tries to revive the Yangtze River

After spending his entire working life on the Yangtze River, Wang Quansheng handed in his fishing licence and nets to the local authorities at the start of this month. His boats were taken away by the government in March. The 58-year-old from Xiangyang, a city of 6 million in Hubei, is a third-generation fisherman. His son, 33, also had to say goodbye to a life that was all he has known after a 10-year fishing ban in the Yangtze – the longest river in Asia – took effect on January 1.

The moratorium applies across 332 conservation sites along the 6,300km (3,915-mile) waterway, and Beijing plans to extend it to the main river course, key tributaries and major lakes linked to the river by January 1 next year. It will be the most ambitious and extensive fishing ban ever seen, as Beijing tries to revive the ecosystem of one of the world’s most famous and important rivers. But it will also mean more than  300,000 fishers will have to give up their jobs, and over 100,000 fishing boats will be taken out of service, according to government officials.