Fish Habitat Near Collapse on China’s Upper Yangtze, Study Says
The fish habitat in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River is near collapse from overfishing and the construction of hydropower dams, and China should ban fishing on the river for 10 years, according to a new study.
Twenty-five hydropower plants are planned for the Jinsha River, which will make the tributary to the Yangtze a series of reservoirs and disrupt the flow of sediment, the World Wildlife Fund and the Yangtze River Fishery Resources Committee said in a report released yesterday.
“Because the habitat has been broken and lost, the natural resources of the fish in the Jinsha river are already on the edge of collapse,” Zhao Yimin, head of the Yangtze fishery committee, said in the report.
China should monitor hydropower projects on the upper reaches of the Yangtze and evaluate small scale hydro operations, the study said. President Xi Jinping has vowed not to sacrifice the environment to economic growth following 30 years of expansion that has tainted the country’s air and water, and spurred a rising number of protests over pollution.
The study involved 32 experts and took 12 days, with research on the Tongtian, Jinsha and Chishui rivers.
“In order to repair the serious degradation of fishery resources, there should quickly be implemented a 10-year ban on fishing on the whole Yangtze River,” Ren Wenwei, director of WWF’s Shanghai office said, according to the statement.
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