Central China's Hubei Province has banned pearl farming in all
lakes, rivers and reservoirs in an attempt to prevent water quality
from worsening, local aquatic products administration said
Pearl farms have covered a total area of 13,000 hectares in the
province, and the annual output has exceeded 400 tons, a spokesman
with the administration said.
Some farmers resorted to pesticides and manure to farm the pearl
oysters, which has caused swathes of algae to bloom in the water,
and turned the water stinky, he said.
The administration said it would not approve new applications to
establish such farms, and has ordered all water areas used to
cultivate pearls to be cleaned.
Over the past several months, blue-green algae outbreaks,
usually caused by pesticides runoffs and other pollutants, have
been reported in Taihu Lake, Chaohu Lake and the Dianchi Lake in
southwestern China, endangering domestic water supplies.
Zhou Shengxian, director of the State Environmental Protection
Administration (SEPA), unveiled a set of tough new rules early July
to tackle worsening pollution in the three lakes.
The rules include a ban on all projects involving discharges
containing ammonia and phosphorus. He also ordered all fish farms
to be removed from the three lake areas by the end of 2008.
Pearl farming in central
China's Hubei Province (file photo)
(Xinhua News Agency August 13, 2007)