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5.1 Management Authorities

As stipulated in “Fisheries Law of the People’s Republic of China” and “Law of Wild Animal Protection of the People’s Republic of China”, the highest unit responsible for shark management in China is the Bureau of Fisheries Management and Fishing Port Superintendence (Bureau of Fisheries), Ministry of Agriculture. The Bureau is responsible for the overall management of shark fishing, resource conservation and shark product imports and exports within national jurisdiction. Meanwhile, management authorities at local level such as county, city and province (autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government) have been set up for the management of shark resources.

5.2 Laws and Regulations

Fisheries Law of the People’s Republic of China, put into force on 20 January 1986, is the highest national law governing fisheries management in China. It stipulates that:

Permits from fishery management authorities have to be obtained in order to exploit shark resources, as for all other fish. Shark fishing licences have been well issued, particularly in the provinces of Guangdong, Fujian, Zhejiang, Hainan and Guangxi, where shark fishing is traditional.

Law of Wild Animals Protection of the People’s Republic of China was put in force on 8 November 1988. It provides:

Other laws and regulations related to shark fishery management are:

In its efforts to protect and conserve its fishery resources, the government of China has adopted a series of measures to limit fishing in its territorial waters. The most important actions are:

1. Limiting the growth in the number of fishing boats and vessels since 1996, through the re-issuing of fishing licences.

2. Establishment of conservation zones.

3. Controlling net mesh sizes.

4. Imposing fishing bans in its territorial waters every year since 1995.

5. Setting a zero growth rate for fishing production in its territorial waters in 1999.

The aim of these actions is to restore and maintain fishery resources, including shark stocks.

The Bureau of Fisheries has enhanced its control over the import and export of shark products. During the Tenth International Trade Conference of the endangered species of wild fauna and flora in 1997, the Chinese delegation favoured the proposal on shark stocks protection put forward by the United States and IUCN. In December 1997 the Government of China issued a circular which contains “The commodity list of the species of imports and exports of wild fauna and flora” (Number 48 [1997] Bin Ban Zhong Zi). Fresh, chilled and frozen dogfish and other sharks and shark fin are included on the list. Since 1 January 1998 all imports, exports and re- export of shark and shark products must first be approved by the Bureau of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture. The Bureau of Fisheries is expected to begin an investigation of shark resources and determine the protection grade required for these resources based on their findings. The Wildlife Protection Law will bring some threatened shark species, such as Cetorhinidae and Rhincodontidae, into the protected category.

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