China 2024-02-15T04:54:58+02:00
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Rare carp stocks growing in China's largest inland saltwater lake

Rare carp stocks growing in China's largest inland saltwater lake

science, China, PRC, fish, Nature, lake
Migratory adult naked carps swim upstream in the Quanji River, an inflow river of Qinghai Lake, in Gangcha County of Haibei Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, northwest China's Qinghai Province. Photo by Xinhua/Fan Peishen.
Migratory adult naked carps swim upstream in the Quanji River, an inflow river of Qinghai Lake, in Gangcha County of Haibei Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, northwest China's Qinghai Province. Photo by Xinhua/Fan Peishen.
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Qinghai Lake in China had 114,100 tonnes of naked carp in 2022, over 44 times the figure in 2002, said the Qinghai provincial department of agriculture and rural affairs. This was reported by The Xinhua News Agency.

Located in northwest China's Qinghai Province, the country's largest inland saltwater lake has seen a 5.1-percent year-on-year growth in naked carp stocks this year, according to the monitoring data recorded by Yangtze River Fisheries Research Institute.

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

Due 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 the low temperature and limited oxygen", – said Qi Hongfang of the lake's naked carp rescue center. "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 Qinghai Lake and in nearby rivers in 2003. Qinghai has also closed the lake six times during the past four decades in order to better breed fish there.

Notably, the province has released around 197 mln artificially-bred fry into the lake over the past 20 years. The practice of releasing the artificially-bred fry contributes 23% of the species' overall population restoration, according to the department.

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