Proceedings of the Third World Fisheries Congress: Feeding the World with Fish in the Next Millenium—The Balance between Production and Environment

Monitoring and Management of Fishery Resources in the East China Sea

Qiuhua Zhang, Zhaogeng Zhou


The East China Sea District is a fishery administrative area that extends from Haizhou Bay fishing ground in the north, south along Jiangsu and Shandong provinces, to the south end of the Taiwan Straits. The fisheries administrative district covers the whole area of the East China Sea and the central to southern part of the Yellow Sea, including Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Fujian provinces and Shanghai City. The East China Sea District is one of the main marine fishing areas of China; 42.7% of average total national marine catch was caught from this area in the 1990s. As such, the East China Sea District occupies a key position in Chinese marine fisheries.

After completing a survey of natural fishery resources on the continental shelf of the East China Sea District in the mid-1980s, the Chinese government requested additional surveys of soil, water, climate, and living resources to gradually develop a dynamic monitoring network of natural and agricultural resources. Advocated by the fishery resource experts and supported by all the provincial and municipal fishery administrative authorities and research institutes in the East China Sea District, the Monitoring Network of Fishery Resource Dynamics in the East China Sea District was established in February 1987 after being ratified by the national fishery administrative authority.

The main purpose of establishing the monitoring network is to maintain continuity in the survey of fishery resources in the East China Sea District. Under the organization and guidance of the Bureau of the East China Sea District Fisheries Management and Fishing Port Superintendence PRC, the monitoring network consists of the East China Sea Fishery Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, Shanghai Fisheries Research Institute, Fujian Fisheries Research Institute, the Marine Fishery Research Institute of Jiangsu Province, and the Marine Fishery Research Institute of Zhejiang Province. Among these organizations, the East China Sea Fishery Research Institute is the first-level station, and the rest (provincial or municipal research institutes) are second level.

The monitoring network has gathered most of the experienced marine fishery resources experts around the East China Sea District to conduct cooperative research in monitoring fishery resources. The main tasks of the network are to collect relevant data, make comprehensive analyses, and conduct fishery resources assessments in the East China Sea District to evaluate the main fish stocks through constant monitoring and surveys. Based on information gathered, the monitoring network will provide fishery management authorities with knowledgeable advice for policy making in adjusting and perfecting management measures, setting reasonable fishing operation guidelines and fishing seasons, and conserving and sustainably using fisheries resources. In addition, the monitoring network would provide the Chinese delegation with the necessary data for international negotiation and cooperation regarding fisheries.

The monitoring network in the East China Sea District has been developing and perfecting fishery operations and management for the past 10 years.

According to the state of marine fisheries operation, management, and scientific research, the network for monitoring fishery resources was created as a “three-in-one combination” with “two-way service.” That is, fishery resources monitoring was combined with specific resource research, fishery production, and social investigation; in addition, fishery resources monitoring and fishery production and management serve each other.