Last week, 1.3 billion fish were released into the Yangtze River by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture (MOA). The release took place in the provinces of Jiangxi, Hubei, Hunan, Anhui and Jiangsu in the middle and lower reaches of the river.

The release is a part of a project that the authorities hope will help restore fishery resources after the recent drought. 9,000 hectares of the river will be planted with aquatic weeds, and 21 million shellfish will also be released into the water. Examples of fish species that were included in the recent release are black carp, grass carp and bighead carp.

The drought has also affected Chinese lakes, and 100 million fish have been released in nine lakes in China’s Anhui Province. According to an estimated from Anhui Fishery Bureau, the drought caused a loss of 148 000 metric tons of fish in the province.

In the Hubei Province, the Honghu Lake – which is the largest lake in the province – decreased down to 12.6 percent (4,475 hectares) of its normal size during the drought according to sources within the Jingzhou Aquatic Products Bureau. 300 million fish have now been released into a total of 34 lakes.

The Yangtze River

The Yangtze River is the longest river in Asia and the third longest river in the world; only the Nile and the Amazon are longer. During recent years, the Yangtze River has suffered from severe industrial pollution coupled with siltation and agricultural run-off. Loss of wetland and lakes has amplified the problems and exacerbated seasonal flooding. Some parts of the river are now protected as nature reserves.