For the Chinese fish- erfolk operating in certain areas of the East China Sea and the Yellow Sea, it will be another 2-month wait before they can reach for their nets, as the ban on fishing has been extended by the min- istry of agriculture. The ban, which was in force through July and August, 'was enforced to protect local seafood resources -espe- cially the hairtail fish - which faced the threat of excessive netting.

An important compo- nent of the Chinese diet, the fish has been at the receiving end of the nets more often in recent years. Reports suggest that the current centrally imposed ban could have saved the lives of 80,000 to 90,000 hairtail fish. Accord- ing to Li Jianhua from the ministry's bureau of fishery, unlike the previolls locally imposed bans, the national ban was effective but for a few stray violations in the Shandong and Fujian provinces.

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