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Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Tuesday, December 18, 2001

Statistics for China's Fishing Output Credible: Official

The figure for China's marine fishing output reported to the international community is accurate. The statistics for the country's total fishing output are based on information collected from the lowest administrations to the central government, said Yang Jian, director-general of the Bureau of Fisheries under the Ministry. Two Canadian scientists published a research paper in the British-based Nature Magazine on November 29, saying that since the 1980s China has reported a fishing output higher than it actually was to the UNFAO.


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Statistical Regulation Strictly Followed

The senior official with the Ministry of Agriculture Monday said that the figure for China's marine fishing output reported to the international community is credible.

What the fisheries authorities do strictly follows China's Statistical regulations as set by the State Statistical Bureau though the method used differs from the internationally accepted sampling survey, he added.

Censure of Canadian Scientists

Reg Watson and Daniel Paulty, two Canadian scientists, published a research paper in the British-based Nature Magazine on November 29 this year, saying that since the 1980s China has reported a fishing output higher than it actually was to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization.

The statistics from China raised the figures for the total world fishing output and gave a false global evaluation of fishery resources, which have been shrinking, they said.

Fishing Output Grew Rapidly in China

  • Fishing Remains Profitable Business


  • China has seen a rapid growth in its fishing output in the past 20 years as fishing remains a profitable business here, Yang said. The total number of fishing boats in the country has risen from 49,000 in 1980 to over 280,000 last year.

  • Chinese Characteristics in Sampling Patterns


  • "Fishing in China has its own characteristics so that foreign scientists' sampling patterns may not fit China," he said, "For example, people in other countries may not eat jellyfish and crab as regularly as the Chinese and the output of these two aquatic products account for a considerable portion of our total output."

    Problems in Collecting Statistics

    China's method of collecting statistics also has problems, Yang also said.

    The government would like to improve it with the joint efforts of international organizations, he added.

    Further Decrease in Fishing Output Expected This Year

    The total fishing output of China dropped by 1.35 percent last year for the first time and Yang said it expects further decrease this year.

    The Chinese Government has paid great attention to its fishery resources over the years. China has issued a 2-to-3-month ban on commercial fishing nationwide and more than 130,000 fishing boats were forced to stay in port during this year's ban leaving about one million fishermen temporarily idle.

    The total number of fishing boats has remained stable in China since 1998 and the government plans to ban 30,000 boats from operating over the next five years.



    China's Fishery Output Value to Top 250b Yuan in 5 years

    The output value of China's fishery sector is expected to reach 250 billion yuan in 2005, with the per-capita output to reach 34-kilograms, up from the present 32.4 kilograms, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

    China's fishery output in 2000 about 42.7 million tons, valued at around 170 billion yuan. The sector shall follow a sustainable growth pattern in the next ten years to increase the per-capita output by 10-kilogram in 2010.

    China will tighten control on the number of fishing boats and fishing quota this year and continue the "zero growth" fishing plan adopted two years ago, so as to protect fishery resources.

    China to Impose Fishing Ban on Yangtze River

    China will ban fishing on its longest river, the Yangtze, from February to June next year to protect marine resources endangered by over-fishing. If the ban goes smoothly, the prohibition period will be instituted annually.

    The annual catch of aquatic products in the Yangtze River totaled 427,000 tons in 1954. But the figure dropped to around 100,000 tons in recent years as a result of over-fishing. Fishing bans imposed in Sichuan, Jiangxi, Hunan, Jiangsu and Anhui provinces have helped stabilize fishing resources there.



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