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China bans fishing in river flowing into Arctic

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-03-24 22:38
The Ertix River in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. [Photo/VCG]

URUMQI -- Chinese fishery authority said that fishing will be completely banned in the Ertix River, the only river in China that flows into the Arctic Ocean.

The fishery management center in the Altay prefecture, in the northern part of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, said fishing will be banned year-round in all natural rivers in the Altay region, including the Ertix.

"We are enforcing the ban to restore fishery resources, protect the natural habitats, restore aquatic diversity, and protect the water sources for cities," said Ershanjam Mamat, head of the center's law enforcement division.

The Ertix River originates from the Altay Mountains in China and flows northwest along the southern foothills into Kazakhstan, Russia, before meeting the Arctic.

A seasonal fishing ban has been enforced in the Ertix since 2005 every year from April 1 to June 30. It helped raise legal awareness of the people living along the riverbank. The number of cold-water fish, such as the white bream and northern pikes, has been growing, official figures show.

Law enforcement authorities have also stepped up protection of the Ertix's natural environment.

Last year, 12 cases of illegal fishing were handled by authorities. More than 1,900 kg of illegal catches were released back to river, and eight boats used for illegal fishing were destroyed.

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