Reading 4 : PAGE181~182
Reading 4 Fish population endangered by large harvests
A Chinese fishery official warned yesterday that the country’s seafood resources could be seriously endangered unless prompt measures are taken.
He said certain species of fish face extinction if overfishing and pullution go unchecked.
Overfishing has resulted in depleted populations in the Bohai Sea and other coastal waters.
The hairtails(带鱼), one of China’s four favorite ocean delicacies ( the other three being the great croaker, lesser croaker and inkfish), are degenerating year by year. The total output declined to only 100,000 tons last year from about 600,000 tons a few years ago.Their weight has also dropped to around 100 grams from 500 grams.
And the prawn, one of the most vendible(有经济价值的)shrimps on the world market, is also facing the threat of extinction caused by the overharvesting in Bohai Sea.
The rules, regulations and various controls on fishing that have been issued in recent years have yielded little effect because of repeated violations by fishermen and reginoal protectionism.
To protest prawn resources, a joint investigatory and supervisory fleet(舰队)has begun patrolling seaports, river mouths, water ways and coastal areas in Liaoning, Hebei and Shandong provinces and in Tianjin.
The patrol aims to stop the harvesting of immature shrimps and illegal trawling(用拖网捕鱼). It is empowered to confiscate vessels without licenses and foreign boats violating territorial fishing boundaries.
But the coastal patrols, which have been strengthened year by year, are not very effective because of the vast sea area and its limited personel and equipment.
When violators are caught and fined, they often go and catch more fish to make up for the losses.
During the past decades, areas that have been declared off-limits (禁地) for fishing during different seasons have covered nearly all the country’s territorial waters（领海、领水）. “No fishing seasons” have also been set to protest immature or reproducing fish, shrimps and crabs.
The protection of aquatic resources is an undertaking for the whole nation..