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  • FAO Fisheries Circular No. 950 FIRM/C950

    ISSN0429-9329 MARINE RESOURCES, THEIR STATUS OF EXPLOITATION AND MANAGEMENT IN THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA

  • FAO Fisheries Circular No. 950 FIRM/C950 MARINE RESOURCES, THEIR STATUS OF EXPLOITATION AND MANAGEMENT IN THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA Weizhong Chen East China Sea Fisheries Research Institute Shanghai People’s Republic of China FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS Rome, 1999

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    PREPARATION OF THIS DOCUMENT

    The People’s Republic of China has been in the top list of world fish producers since the nineties. China has also joined the world distant-water fishing nations to conduct fishing in the high seas of the world oceans. Information on Chinese fisheries is, however, not readily available especially for the non-Chinese speaking readers owing to the limited number of published reports in English. This document was prepared in response to such a need for the benefit of global interest. This document was prepared by Mr Weizhong Chen, Deputy Chief of the East China Sea Fisheries Research Institute in Shanghai. Mr Chen worked in Rome in July/August 1997 under the FAO Programme of Cooperation with Academic and Research Institution, during which time he worked closely with Dr Purwito Martosubroto of the Marine Resources Service of the Fishery Resources Division (FIRM).

    Chen, Weizhong Marine resources, their status of exploitation and management in the People’s Republic of China. FAO Fisheries Circular. No. 950. Rome, FAO. 1999. 60p.

    ABSTRACT

    Marine capture fisheries have developed very quickly in the past decade as reflected by the rapid increase in the number of fishing vessels. Total fishing effort has grown from 42,779 vessels in 1975 to 273,978 in 1995 or in terms of horsepower from 2,150,000 kW to 9,801,000 kW. Meanwhile total catch increased from 2,773,000 tonnes to 10,268,000 tonnes during the same period. Due to the continued increase in fishing effort, some important fish stocks (except for some pelagic species and squids) are in serious threat. Most of the stocks experienced both “growth” and “recruitment” overfishing. The species composition of catches has shown some changes associated with the increase in catch. The number of species of low trophic level (e.g. mackerels, anchovies, and shrimps) and other immature fish has risen in recent years. Various management measures have been introduced including the licensing scheme, protection (conservation) area and closed season. Yet, fisheries management still faces immense challenges. Those include low-level of awareness of management concept among stakeholders, weakness in law enforcement and inadequate funds for fisheries research in support of management.

    ___________________________________________________________________________ The FAO Fisheries Circular is a vehicle for distribution of short or ephemeral notes, lists, etc., including provisional versions of documents to be issued later in other series.

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    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Mr Chen wishes to extend his gratitude to various individuals who had provided assistance directly or indirectly during preparation of the work. Those include gratefulness to Mr Guo Nanling, the Director of the East China Sea Fisheries Research Institute (CSFRI) in Shanghai and Mr Zheng Yuanjia, Chief of the Fisheries Resources Division of the same Institute, who both continued giving support while the author conducted a review study in Rome. Similar appreciation and gratitude is extended to Dr S.M. Garcia, Director of the Fisheries Resources Division (FIR) of the FAO Fisheries Department for the encouragement during his work in Rome and in particular to Dr P. Martosubroto, Fishery Resources Officer, Marine Resources Service, Fishery Resources Division, for his continued assistance in the completion of the work. Finally, deepest appreciation goes to Dr Luca Garibaldi, Consultant in Fishery Statistics Group, Fishery Information, Data and Statistics Unit (FIDI) for his collaboration in reviewing the scientific names according to the most recent taxonomical terms used. NOTE: The scientific name of species employed in this paper uses the most recent classification used by FAO.

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    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    1 PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT 1

    1.1 Geographic Environment 1 1.2 Natural Environment 1

    1.2.1 Bottom topography and sediments 1 1.2.2 Oceanography 1 1.2.3 Meteorology 2

    2 FISHERIES 2

    2.1 An Overview of Marine Capture Fisheries 2 2.2 Bohai Sea and Yellow Sea Fishery 4 2.3 East China Sea Fishery 5 2.4 South China Sea Fishery 6

    3 FISHERIES RESOURCES 8

    3.1 General Features 8 3.2 Large Head Hairtail, Trichiurus lepturus 9 3.3 Filefish, Thamnaconus septentrionalis 10 3.4 Large Yellow Croaker, Larimichthys crocea 11 3.5 Yellow Croaker, Larimichthys polyactis 11 3.6 Chub Mackerel, Scomber japonicus 12 3.7 Japanese Spanish Mackerel, Scomberomorus niphonius 13 3.8 Japanese Scad, Decapterus maruadsi 14 3.9 Japanese Anchovy, Engraulis japonicus 15 3.10 Prawns 16 3.11 Cephalopods 17

    3.11.1 Cuttlefish 17 3.11.2 Squids 17

    4 POLLUTION AND ITS IMPACT ON FISHERIES 18

    4.1 Overview 18 4.2 Pollution 18

    4.2.1 Water quality in the Bohai and Yellow Seas 19 4.2.2 Contamination of marine organisms 19 4.2.3 Ecological impacts of contaminants 19

    5 LEGAL AND INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK OF FISHERIES MANAGEMENT 20

    5.1 Historical Background 20 5.2 Legal and Institutional Framework 21

    5.2.1 Fisheries management and its mechanism 21 5.2.2 Management support 22 5.2.3 Management measures 23

    6 REFERENCES 26

    FIGURES 29

    TABLES 34

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    APPENDIX I 51

    List of Major Fishery Laws and Regulations 51

    APPENDIX II 54

    Fishing Regulations for the East China Sea, Yellow Sea and Bohai Sea for 1993 to 1997 54

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    1 PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT 1.1 Geographic Environment China is located in East Asia, with marine areas to the east and south. There are 4 main seas from south to north: South China Sea, East China Sea, Yellow Sea and Bohai Sea. Of the total sea area of about 4,727,000 km2, South China Sea makes up about 3,500,000 km2, East China Sea 770,000 km2, Yellow Sea 380,000 km2 and Bohai Sea 77,000 km2. The coastline of mainland China is more than 180,000 km long while the continental shelf area is about 374,000 km2 (see Figure 1). There are more than 5,000 islands with a total coastline of 140,000 km. About 20% of the islands are located in the northern area to the mouth of Yangtze River, with the remainder in the southern area. A large number of harbours and bays are spread along the coastline. From north to south, the most important bays include Liaodong Bay, Bohai Bay, Laizhou Bay, Dalian Bay, Haizhou Bay, Hangzhou Bay, Sanmen Bay, Taizhou Bay, Leqing Bay, Wenzhou Bay, Funing Bay, Sanduao Bay, Luoyuan Bay, Haitan Bay, Xinghua Bay, Quanzhou Bay, Tongshan Bay, Liaoluo Bay, Zhelin Bay, Heshi Bay, Daya Bay, Sanya Bay and Beihai Bay. There are about 700 fishing harbours, of which 300 are important, including Dalian, Haiyangdao, Qinghuangdao, Tiajin, Tanggu, Yantai, Qingdao, Lianyungang, Liuhe, Shanghai, Ninbo, Shenjiamen, Shipo, Quanzhou, Xiamen, Dongshan, Shantou, Guangzhou, Sanya, Baimajin, Beihai, Jilong, Hualian, Xingang. 1.2 Natural Environment 1.2.1 Bottom topography and sediments The Bohai Sea is nearly an enclosed sea with an overall average depth of 18 m, with more than half of the area less than 20 m deep. The sediments mainly consist of soft mud and fine sand in the shallow area near bays and rough sand in the central area. The Yellow Sea is also relatively shallow; two-thirds of the area is less than 60 m deep. Its bottom mainly consists of soft and sandy mud. The East China Sea has an average depth of 72 m, with bottom sediment largely consisting of sand. Two main types of sand can be distinguished at the 50-60 m isobath: to the west of this isobath, sediment consists of soft mud and silt owing to discharge from surrounding rivers; to the east it consists of fine sands from deposits of ancient coastline. The South China Sea is a rather deep area, with an average depth of 1,212 m and a deepest area of 5,559 m in the northwest area near Polu. The sediment consists of sand, which is rough in the nearshore area and becomes fine in the central area. 1.2.2 Oceanography The oceanography of the China Seas has a major influence on the abundance and distribution of living marine resources throughout the area. The Yellow Sea and South China Sea are basically semi-enclosed seas. The distributions of the isoline of temperature and salinity are normally parallel with the isobathic line. Temperature and salinity are normally lower in inshore areas and higher in offshore, and also lower in the north and higher in the south. The distribution of temperature and salinity are homogeneous in the winter but with strong thermos- and haloclines in the summer.

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    The offshore waters of Yellow Sea and East China Sea are mainly affected by the northward Kuroshio current and characterized by high temperature and salinity. The South China Sea warm waters and the warm waters of the Kuroshio branch mainly affect the offshore area of South China Sea. The coastal wat