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New Law to Guide Fisheries Industry
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China's new Fishery Law, which was brought into effect Friday, will contribute to the sustainable development of the fisheries industry, which is currently suffering from the depletion of resources and water pollution, officials said Friday at a seminar in Beijing.

The law, the revised version of a 1986 law, focuses on the management of fisheries resources by deploying fishing quotas and a permit systems.

The law's jurisdiction has also been extended to cover the country's exclusive marine economic zones, Vice-Minister of Agriculture Qi Jingfa said Friday.

Speaking at a gathering to mark the law's inauguration, Qi said China will strictly limit the amount of fish caught to within what the resources allow.

The total that can be caught will be determined by scientific surveys and assessments.The fishing quota system, which was amended to the law, is an effective and important method of expanding the fisheries sector, said Xu Yulin, vice-director of the Legislative Affairs Office under the State Council.

The statute, improved because many aquatic breeding waters in China have been seriously encroached and contaminated, stipulates that the State will make plans to control the waters and beaches used for aquatic breeding purposes, according to Xu.

Anyone who uses these waters and beaches for aquatic breeding should apply to local governments above the county level for certificates, and should protect the environment by rationally limiting breeding densities and not using poisonous and harmful bait or feed, according to the law.

Unlike its earlier version, the new law also stresses that China will encourage and support the fostering and dissemination of fine aquatic species and breeds.

Moreover, imports and exports of aquatic fry should be quarantined to curb the spread of aquatic diseases.In particular, imported genetically modified aquatic breeds and fries should undergo safety assessments in line with State Council regulations, according to the law.T

he law strictly bans fishing by such means as detonations and poisoning.

In reference to the exclusive economic zones, the law states that foreigners and their vessels that fish and conduct fisheries resources research in the waters under China's jurisdiction, which violates the law, will be forced to leave, their catch and fishing gear may be confiscated and they will be fined up to 500,000 yuan (US$60,240).

Buhe, vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC, Friday said the implementing rules of the law will be worked out to improve the legal system governing fisheries.

(China Daily 12/02/2000)

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