This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Jiangsu Broadcasting Corporation will launch a special program Magnificent 70 years, a new era of struggle--the development of the Republic to cover the achievements Jiangsu has made in the past seven decades. In today’s episode, we will show you the green development of the Taihu Lake since the 30-year-old aquatic breeding was prohibited.
The 2998 hectares of aquatic breeding installations over the Taihu Lake were dismantled on June 28. With the last installations demolished, the eastern flank of the Taihu Lake is resuming its vibrancy.
Lan Guangcha, deputy head of the third squad of the Taihu Lake Fishery Administration:
All the bamboo rafts, meshes, fishing nets and bamboo cages were cleared so that the water is crystal-clear to see the lush water grass and waterfowls are flying here and there.
The aquatic breeding in the Taihu Lake dates back to 1980s when the government encouraged the fishermen to earn their living by raising hairy crabs.
With the Taihu Lake hairy crabs gaining a widespread reputation, aquatic breeding spanned over 14,000 hectares of water surface.
The density of the aquatic breeding installations and the decaying of the fish feed caused eutrophication, which in turn resulted in the outbreak of blue-green algae.
Large-scale demolition of aquatic breeding installations was carried out in 1998 and 2008 with all the nets and cages in the waters off Wuxi and Changzhou dismantled. With part of the bamboo weirs dismantled in the waters off Suzhou, 3,000 hectares of hairy crab breeding remained in the eastern flank of the Taihu Lake until the recent demolition.
Wu Linkun, consultant of Taihu Lake Fishery Administration:
We have made up our mind to dismantle the remaining aquatic breeding nets in order to improve the water quality of Taihu Lake and protect the ecological environment of Taihu Lake in accordance with the requirements of the provincial party committee and the provincial government, and the requirements of the central environmental protection inspectorate.
2,809 fishermen were affected by the demolition of the aquatic breeding nets and each fishing household was given a compensation of 474,300 yuan.
The annual yield of Taihu Lake hairy crab totaled 2,700 tons in the past.
Standardized fishing ponds with tail water purification devices have been constructed along the shores of the eastern flank of the Taihu Lake in order to retain the Taihu Lake hairy crab as a celebrated aquatic brand.
Hairy crabs will be grown in the ponds through artificial breeding and fishermen can harvest the crabs provided they hold a fishing license.
With 6.66 million crab fry released into the ponds, the yield of Taihu Lake hairy crab is expected to be stabilized at 1000 tons, solving the livelihood for some fishermen, but most fishermen face the dilemma of switching jobs.
Zhou Yugen, a villager in Dongshan town, Wuzhong district:
the people who make a living by raising crabs is basically between the age group of 45 to 55 years old. They can't find other jobs as they are not well-educated and they are not good at other skills.
Authorities in Wuzhong district and Wujiang district have offered 1000 jobs and skill training to help the fishermen switch to other jobs.
A special fund has been earmarked for the fishermen to have access to monthly allowance and social security.
Cai Jianchang, head of human resources and social security, Dongshan town, Wuzhong district:
We have tried our best to offer free training for them to acquire labor skills for reemployment. We have also launched entrepreneurship training for them to start up businesses such as agritainment, fish restaurant tour and e-commerce.
Mi Qifeng, a 42-year-old villager in Dongshan town, is one of the beneficiaries. He has devoted his entire energy to his fish restaurant business by bringing into full play his fishing experiences. In the high tourist season, his restaurant can earn a net profit of 200,000 yuan.
Mi Qifeng, a villager in Dongshan town:
We might incur losses when running hairy crab breeding business in the past. The ecological regulation over the Taihu Lake will surely attract more tourists to the Taihu Lake and bring us brisk business.