HAIKOU, May 2 (Xinhua) -- The annual fishing ban in the South China Sea started Wednesday and will last until August 16, local agricultural authorities said Thursday.
No fishing activities are allowed in parts of the sea under China's jurisdiction except angling during the period, according to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of south China's Hainan Province.
A fishing ban in inland waters has also started from March 1 to June 30, covering the main streams, tributaries and lakes along the Nandu River, Wanquan River and Changhua River.
All the fishing boats have returned to the ports as of 12 a.m. on Wednesday in Hainan, according to the department.
Wang Jinfa, a local fisherman, said he will follow the fishing ban rules for the sustainable development of the marine environment.
During the three-and-a-half-month fishing ban, safety inspections on fishing gear and vessels will be carried out, and training on relevant regulations and skills will be offered to fishermen.
China has enforced an annual fishing ban to protect the ocean's ecosystem and biodiversity from excessive fishing since 1995. The fishing ban in the South China Sea began in 1999.