Fishermen set sail as moratorium ends

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Fishing boats in Taizhou, a coastal city in Zhejiang province, set sail on Monday as the three-month fishing moratorium in the East China Sea was lifted the same day. LIN LIJUN/FOR DAILY CHINA

The fishing moratorium in the East China Sea was partially lifted on Monday and the first fleet of more than 1,100 fishing boats in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, set sail.

Fishing boats from coastal cities including Zhoushan and Ningbo also weighed anchor and set sail after the three-month ban, meaning consumers will soon have an abundance of fresh fish, shrimp and crab. on their tables.

Unlike previous years, fishing boats departing from Wenzhou this year are smarter and equipped with new technologies such as offshore broadband access and telephones to improve communication efficiency, Zhejiang Daily reported.

“After renovation, the fishing boats will be safer and more comfortable. I hope to have a chance to fill the hold and come back soon,” said Lin Houwu, a captain.

In Ningbo, fishermen, mainly concentrated in Xiangshan, will fish for shrimp and swimmer crab.

The first catches from the East China Sea will be sold in the market two to three days after being caught at sea, based on previous experience.

Zhou Haiping, a fishing boat captain in Hangzhou, said he and his crew would leave at noon on Monday and return on Wednesday, according to the Hangzhou Daily.

“The swimming crab population has recovered during the fishing moratorium. A large number of them will be seen in the Hangzhou market by Friday,” Zhou said.

Swimmer Crabs are a top seller in the live-streaming market, where broadcasters pre-sell seafood to customers nationwide.

Zhou Juan, an aquatic products dealer in Hangzhou, is optimistic about sales of swimmer crab this year.

“Seafood populations have gradually returned to the same level as when I was a child thanks to the ban on fishing promoted in recent years, although it has not yet reached the peak like when the fishing nets were full of crabs. The catches of the fishermen have indeed improved a lot,” she said.

To ensure the safe navigation of commercial fishing vessels, local maritime safety and agriculture administrations have arranged for law enforcement vessels to patrol key waters and issued warnings of safety to guide navigation.

Lianyungang in Jiangsu Province, neighboring Zhejiang, also ended its moratorium and started fishing on Monday.

Since the moratorium took effect on May 1, the city has dispatched 324 law enforcement vessels and 138 illegal fishing boats have been seized, according to local authorities.

Ma Zhenhuan in Hangzhou and Cang Wei in Nanjing contributed to this story.

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