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A. General comments

Since the beginning of the year there has been a reorganisation of responsibilities within the team. This has resulted in a considerable improvement in the general attitudes of the personnel towards the work of the project and a great improvement in the cooperation received from other sections of the Bureau. Team members are working well together and they are responding very well to training.

This year has seen a considerable improvement in the attention to notetaking and scientific precision in the recording of data. In particular it is pleasing to note that there is now the required emphasis on the quantitative aspects of the sampling programme.

There are still problems and inefficiencies in the time-tabling of the work of individuals and the survey work. In particular it should be noted that the complexity of the equipment that needs to be carried on the investigation trips demands that careful thought is given to these needs beforehand and that a checklist system is used to ensure that there are no omissions that are unable to be rectified in the field.

B. Personnel

The major change in the personnel working directly for the Lake Investigation Team has been the nomination of Mr Ying Baicai as Team Leader from the beginning of the year. Mr Wang Jiling, formerly the Team Leader, and Mr Yuen Yuongguo have been transferred to other duties. Ms Ying Xiuli and Ms Zhang Lijuan joined the team with responsibility for data processing. It is anticipated that Ms Wang Lihua will shortly rejoin the team after maternity leave, and that Ms Hu Zhuihua will shortly begin maternity leave and will not be available throughout 1992.

Under the overall direction of the National Project Director, Mr Qu Benchen, the team currently consists of the following personnel:

Mr YING BaicaiSenior EngineerTeam Leader
Mr YANG HonzhiEngineerDeputy Team Leader
Ms HU ZhuihuaAsst. EngineerWater analyses/Equipment
Mr LEI ZhenzhouAsst. EngineerFish/limno biology
Ms WANG LihuaAsst. EngineerWater analyses
Ms YING XiuliAsst. EngineerData processing
Ms ZHANG LijuanAsst. EngineerData processing
Ms CHEN YianqiSnr. TechnicianFish/limno biology
Mr WANG ZhenjiTechnicianFish/limno biology
Mr YIAN ZhongshuenTechnicianFish/limno biology

Survey vessel crew:

Mr ZHU HonglianCaptain
Mr LIU ZhongheMotorman
Mr WANG JinshanDeckhand

C. Accommodation

The accommodation continues to be generally adequate for the needs of the team in Xining. Secure storage and adequate living accommodation is now available at the Fish Factory at Qinghai Hu.

The provision of laboratory accommodation still continues to be a problem, as the laboratory fitted out during the visit of Consultant Colin Smith has been dismantled for a major rehabilitation and redecoration. Currently this work has still to be completed and the laboratory is out of commission.

D. Road Transport and Survey Vessel

1. Road transport

Cooperation within the Bureau has eliminated many of the logistical problems of the transport of personnel and equipment. The situation will further improve with the delivery of the pick-up truck which is now on order.

2. Survey vessel

With the completion of the fitting out, this vessel is now quite adequate for the work of the Team.

At the beginning of the year a permanent crew were allotted to the survey vessel. This has lead to a much greater attention to the readiness and upkeep of the vessel. In particular, the crew members must be praised for they way in which they cooperate with the work of the Lake Investigation Team and take an active part in the practical sampling.

Attention to on-board safety has also greatly improved. The members of the Lake Investigation Team must be provided with protective foul-weather clothing for the periods when they are on the survey vessel.

E. Equipment

All the original order of equipment is now delivered except for the two outboard motors which are now considered to be “lost in transit”. A further order of six outboards has been delivered this year. Small orders for replacement of lost or damaged items and consumables are now awaiting delivery. In particular the progress of the data processing has identified a need to upgrade the computer and to replace some of the software which has proved to be faulty.

There have been some problems with security, both in Xining and at the Fish Factory quayside.

In particular the loss of battery chargers belonging to the limnological profiler have proved difficult to replace and have reduced the usefulness of this apparatus throughout the whole of the sampling season. Other small items are presumed to have been pilfered.

Of greater importance is lack of security at the Fish Factory Quayside where there is evidence of small-scale pilfering of the fittings on-board the research boat. In addition it is considered inadvisable to leave equipment mounted on the boat when it is not in use. There is also evidence of unauthorised use of the boat and the project equipment (dinghy, outboard motor etc) with some damage resulting.

These problems, although a source of annoyance, have had only a minor effect on the work of the team and the progress of a work programme.

There are still some chemicals to be delivered from local sources in order that the full range of water analyses can be carried out. In the interim, water analyses are undertaken using the field analysis kits.

The major part of the limnological and benthos sampling equipment became available for the first time during this current sampling season (1991).

The initial trials of echo-sounder have been a success and steps are now being taken to construct a mounting for this equipment. Neither the ship-to-shore radio nor the satellite navigation system are installed as these are waiting clearances from the authorities.

F. Administrative issues

1. Personnel

The reorganisation of responsibilities has proved successful, with Mr Yang Hongzhi being effectively in total charge of the day-to-day running of the team and the progress of the programme of work. He is receiving good cooperation from the Bureau authorities and liaising well with outside bodies.

The uncertain position of Mr Wang Jiling within the team structure meant that the programme for sampling the bottom fauna was delayed. This has now started under the supervision of Mr Yang Hongzhi.

The effective loss of Ms Hu Zhuihua to the Project Team means that until Ms Wang Lihua returns and updates her training in the techniques of water analysis, it will be difficult for this part of the project programme to go ahead. It will be Ms Wang Lihua's responsibility to refit the laboratory and organise its equipment after the current reconstruction and redecoration works are completed.

2. Equipment

The control of the equipment stocks has much improved. It is expected that responsibility for the equipment inventory will be transferred to Ms Wang Lihua on the departure of Ms Hu Zhuihua.

The position of the ship-to-shore radio and the satellite navigation system should be clarified with the appropriate licensing authorities.

There is still an apparent misuse of project equipment, particularly the boats and their ancillary equipment, by others for purposes unconnected with the work of the project. Such misuse has already resulted in damage and dilapidation of the boats and new outboard motors, with no-one in a position to take responsibility for these items. Attention should be given to this problem, at the highest level.

Although the availability of road transport and boats is considerably improved in comparison with last year, there are still periods when, despite adequate advance warning, the team finds itself at lakeside with no boat transport available, as the research vessel has been allocated other duties.

G. Training and Study Tour

Training, on-the-job and by informal seminars, has continued during the period of the visit of the Consultant. The response to this training has been very pleasing. It should be noted that many of the team members have already a considerable experience in the work that they carry out and have achieved a good level of competence in these activities.

A study course in Fishery Management was held at the Humberside International Fisheries Institute at the University of Hull in the UK, from 11 November to 1 December 1990. Mr Da Ren Qing, Mr Qu Benchen, Mr Chen Yuan, Mr Wang Jiling, Mr Yang Hongzhi and Mr Zhou Yiming attended the training course and continued with the study tour from 2 December to 10 December 1990. The course participants visited fishery and fish farm sites in the Netherlands and Czechoslovakia. Mr Qu Benchen and Mr Zhou Yiming visited FAO in Rome for two days.

From 20 July to 30 August, Ms Ying Xiuli attended a training course at the Qinghai Provincial Computer Training Centre, Xining. This course gave her a background in DOS operating system, BASIC programming and DBase3 (in the Chinese version).

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