Fishing boats sail from the Yazhou Central Fishing Port in Sanya, south China's Hainan Province, Aug. 16, 2017. The fishing season of the South China Sea started on Wednesday after this summer's fishing ban. (Xinhua/Chen Wenwu)
HAIKOU, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- With a marine police guard, around 100 fishing vessels set out from south China's Hainan Province Wednesday noon, marking the end of fishing ban in the South China Sea this summer.
The boats, departing from Yazhou Port in Sanya, will head to the waters of Beibu Gulf, Xisha and Nansha sea areas, according to the provincial maritime and fishery department.
A total of 18,000 fishing boats returned to Chinese ports from May 1 when the ban started, a record high for the past 19 years since China first enacted the annual fishing ban.
The ban was extended by one month this year to a total of three and half months. During this period, 92 cases of illegal fishing were reported, down 30 percent from last year, according to the department.