Thursday, May 31, 2012
Eye | Land | View
Thursday, late afternoon.
The harbour of a little island in the South China Sea is very full. Why so?
Locally-based fishing vessels have returned to port as there is now a two-month ban on fishing.
Some of the local boats will never sail again. A law comes into force at the end of the year banning all trawl fishing in Hong Kong waters. Trawl fishing is when a boat drags a net though the water. So far, so good. But when fishing in shallow waters, the net scrapes along the seabed. That's really destructive. The result is carnage.
It is to be noted that the mainland Chinese government already prohibits trawling all year round in its territorial waters of less than 40 metres (132 feet) and extends this ban with a May to August moratorium on all trawling, purse-seining and stake-netting activities.
Hereabouts, Hong Kong Government has put in place a number of measures to compensate soon-to-be ex-trawler owners and crews. And thanks to its buy-back scheme, the local authorities plan to sink some of the newly acquired trawlers to create artificial reefs.
Beach Boys: Sail on Sailor