Fewer Fish Threaten Jobs in China
BEIJING (AP) _ Dwindling marine life in China’s offshore waters will force 200,000 fishermen out of work in the world’s largest fishing nation, the state-run China Daily said Saturday.
Pollution and overfishing have so severely depleted fish populations that the size of China’s annual catch has not grown for three straight years, the newspaper quoted an official at China’s Fisheries Bureau as saying.
China will cut the size of its quarter-million-boat fishing fleet by 30,000 boats over the next five years, the report said. It said the bureau will find other work for the 200,000 fishermen left jobless. It didn’t say how many people the industry now employs.
The bureau predicted that the size of China’s annual catch will shrink 10 percent by 2006. In the first 11 months of last year, China caught 13 million tons of fish, down a fifth from the same time in 2000, the report said.
It said the size of the catch has also been constrained by agreements signed with the region’s other big fishing countries _ Japan, South Korea and Vietnam.
China is by far the world’s largest fisher, catching almost twice as many tons per year as the next country, Peru.