December 8, 2000
Shanghai: Illegal fishing and eel catching are being cracked down at the mouth of the Yangtze River by the coast guards and frontier inspection police in Shanghai. The crusade, which began on Wednesday, aims to improve safety along the waterway of the longest river in China. By 4 p.m. Wednesday, police had checked the licenses and qualification certificates on about 30 fishing boats in the area. Police seized three boats for illegal fishing or with safety problems during the day. Police estimated about 2,000 fishing boats regularly work in the area. Most of the fishing boats are homemade and are in poor condition, police said. Fishermen in small wooden boats often operate in areas frequently afflicted with strong winds and high waves. Besides, most of the boats didn’t get proper fishing licenses. According to the Shanghai Daily, the approach of spring usually lures a large number of fishing boats at the mouth of the river, as this is the best season for catching baby eels. Only 200 boats have been licensed to catch fish in waters around Chongming Island, and the island’s fishing authority said. “Too many illegally working fishing boats are seriously hampering normal breeding of the fishes and endanger shipping safety at the mouth of the Yangtze River,” said Liang Hailong, a coast guard officer.