Cadres and staff members of the fishery departments at provincial and municipal levels of Guangdong Province recently released 3,000 Chinese sturgeon into the Pearl River at the provincial propagation and releasing center in Shawan, Fanyu. The action took place on June 8 for a province-wide unified fish release.
Chinese sturgeon is a peculiar species to China. Over 1,000 wild Chinese sturgeon are estimated to be living in the Yangtze River valley, which is so rare they got the name, "giant pandas in the river" and are under top national protection.
Among the 3,000 Chinese sturgeon released recently, 200 were attached with silver labels for tracing and research as they are expected to proliferate in the river upon release.
The released sturgeon are a newborn species straight from wild Chinese sturgeon, and are more suitable for breeding in a natural environment. Therefore, related fishery administration departments announced that newly released sturgeons can't be eaten according to wildlife protection regulations. If local citizens catch the sturgeons unintentionally, they are advised to release them back into river. Fishery departments also claim to promote awareness among the public of protecting Chinese sturgeon and related regulations.
In addition, about 300 million fish fry have been released in Guangdong this year, the maximum in provincial history. Among them, freshwater small fry amount to 131 million, freshwater shrimp fry weigh 825 tons, seawater fry amount to 6.55 million, seawater shrimp fry 110 million, shellfish weigh 152 tons, and Babylonia areolata, abalones, Hiatula diphos, and sea urchins altogether amount to 1.03 million.
Over 10 million yuan (US$1.2 million) have been invested in this year's propagation and releasing work in the province. Furthermore, releasing range involves artificially built reef areas this year, not just limited within rivers and seas.
It was the first time that some 2 million shrimp fry were released into the juncture river valley of Guangdong and Hong Kong, around the estuary of the Pearl River on June 6, benefiting from cooperation of both parts.
(China.org.cn by Zhang Tingting, June 12, 2003)