China has imposed a 10-year commercial fishing ban on the Yangtze in a bid to protect its aquatic life.
Facing dwindling fish stocks and declining biodiversity in the 6,300km (3,915-mile) river, the Chinese government decided seasonal moratoriums were not enough.
The ban has been applied at 332 conservation sites and will be extended to cover the main river course and key tributaries by January 1, 2021, reports the South China Morning Post.
Dam-building, pollution, overfishing, river transport and dredging have severely impacted the river’s species with an ‘across-the-board decline’ in populations of rare species such as the Chinese sturgeon, which is critically endangered.
President Xi Jinping warned that the Yangtze River was so depleted that its biodiversity index had reached what could be described as the ‘no fish’ level.