A fisherman repairs his boat overlooking fishing boats that fish in the disputed Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea, at Masinloc, Zambales. File photo/ Reuters
China has invited public responses to a draft law to prevent illegal fishing and depletion of coastal fish stocks, as current legislation is inadequate for sustainable development of the industry, the agriculture ministry said on Wednesday.
China is struggling to remedy damage done by overdevelopment of its rivers and lakes, with fish stocks suffering not only from overfishing, but also industrial pollution and habitat disruptions caused by dams and water diversions.
It has imposed tougher curbs on fishing in rivers, lakes and coastal areas, but some species, such as the Chinese sturgeon, remain on the brink of extinction.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs is seeking responses from the public by Sept.28 to the draft published on Wednesday, it said on its website.
Illegal and unsustainable fishing practices, such as the use of explosives or electrocution, are still a serious problem in China, it added.
The ministry called for a more comprehensive protection system for aquatic biodiversity, especially on breeding farms, and efforts to halt illegal encroachment by fishing vessels on tidal flats and other protected areas.
Depleting coastal fish stocks made it necessary to improve quota and licensing rules that have not been adequately enforced, it said.
New rules to improve the supervision of vessels and keep catches within stipulated limits are required, and China will also prepare a blacklist for lawbreaking vessels, both domestic and foreign.
Authorities also needed additional powers to investigate the illegal activities of fishing operations and ensure that fishing vessels meet environmental and safety standards.
The new rules allow confiscation of illegal vessels, with severe punishment for their owners and suppliers.
State media is expected to publish details of the law — which comes in response to last year's often-violent pro-democracy protests in the city and aims to tackle subversion, terrorism, separatism and collusion with foreign forces — later on Tuesday.
At least 16 people, most of them teenagers, were arrested on charges of possessing items fit for unlawful purposes, such as petrol bombs and screwdrivers. Three of the people arrested were charged for dangerous driving.
The protesters chanted pro-democracy slogans in Causeway Bay, one of the city's busiest shopping districts, as riot police warned them with loudspeakers and flags that the gathering was unlawful and that they should disperse.
A video shared on social media showed flood water gushing from an apartment building in Ankara along with furniture.
According to sources, many labourers were working on the bridge when one of its portions collapsed, and several of them are feared dead. However, the district administration of Bhagalpur, or Bihar government, has not provided any figures on casualties yet.
An average of 30 people a day were killed by firearms in S.Africa in the first three months of this year, according to official crime statistics. During the same three months, police recorded more than 4,000 cases of illegal possession of guns.
Sheikh Sultan praised the efforts of the multi-sectoral Unesco Regional Office and their continuous initiatives to support children in the Arab world, stressing that Sharjah always seeks to enhance cooperation in this field.