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Rare carp stocks growing in China's largest saltwater lake

Xinhua,December 09, 2020 Adjust font size:

Qinghai Lake in China had 100,400 tonnes of naked carp in 2020, nearly 39 times the figure in 2002, monitoring data showed.

Located in northwest China's Qinghai Province, the country's largest inland saltwater lake has seen a 7.9-percent annual growth in naked carp stock this year, according to the Yangtze River Fisheries Research Institute.

The carp species, known as "Huangyu" in China, is endemic to the Qinghai Lake. The fish is not only critical to the existence of local bird species, but to the ecological balance of the highland lake.

Owing to overfishing and environmental deterioration, the population of naked carp declined sharply in the 1960s and 1970s. In 2002, Qinghai Lake only had 2,592 tonnes of naked carp.

"Plankton is scarce in Qinghai Lake due to low temperature and less oxygen," said Zhu Anfu of the Qinghai provincial department of agriculture and rural affairs. "The growth of naked carp in the lake is slow, with low reproductive capacity. Once the fish stocks are exhausted, they are not easy to restore."

In order to protect the species and restore the environment, the province banned naked carp fishing in the Qinghai Lake and in nearby rivers in 2003.

This year alone, around 16.3 million artificially-bred fry have been released into the lake to preserve the rare species.

"With improved ecological environment in Qinghai Lake basin, expanding wetlands and better self-purifying capability of the lake, naked carp stocks have entered the recovery period," Zhu said. Enditem