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December 20, 2019
On Jan. 1 2020, China will ban fishing in environmentally sensitive regions along the Yangtze, China's...
Jiujiang, China
The Wider Image: Fishermen cry foul as China bids to fix drought-hit lake
On Jan. 1 2020, China will ban fishing in environmentally sensitive regions along the Yangtze, China's longest river, and by the start of 2021, fishing throughout the Poyang itself will be prohibited for at least 10 years. Fan, who has worked half his life on the lake, said he and as many as 100,000 other fishermen were being unfairly blamed for mounting local environmental problems and must now find other ways to make a living. "Our sources of income have been cut off. We don't have anything else," he said. "To be honest, we shouldn't be collecting the coins at all because they are owned by the state, but it is only a tiny amount." The government says excessive fishing has brought stocks down to perilously low levels and put endangered species under threat, including China's last surviving river mammal, the Yangtze finless porpoise. But the Poyang, described by President Xi Jinping as a vital "kidney" filtering the water supplies of 40% of China's population, has also been hurt by intensive sand mining, untreated wastewater and the impact of the giant Three Gorges Dam some 560km (350 miles) upstream. Water in the Poyang, which spills off from the middle reaches of the Yangtze River in Jiangxi province, routinely declines in winter. But the lake is now at its lowest in 60 years. With little rain since July, hundreds of shrivelled anchovies and tiny shellfish have been baked into the exposed shoreline flats. REUTERS/Aly Song SEARCH "POYANG LAKE" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY. Matching Text: CHINA-LAKE/ TEMPLATE OUT
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