Jiuduansha Wetlands: Change of fishermen
2016-06-08 15:32:00

China's Jiuduansha Wetlands is located at the mouth of the Yangtze River. And it plays host to a variety of protected species of fish and birds. The country designated the wetlands as a protected area back in 2000, and has since become a national natural reserve. 

Due to its special location, law enforcement officers help to ensure its protection. CCTV reporter tells of why one fisherman decided to help with conservation efforts. 

Gu Jun is a fisherman at Shanghai suburb port. He has been working here for 17 years. He didn’t even know what a wetland was when he used to fish in the protected area. Now he has a new job - apart from fishing. He assists wetland staff to patrol around the island.

It is a closed fishing season, but it is still hard to ban the illegal behaviour. 

As a fisherman himself, Gu’s role is to make local fishermen aware of the negative impact of their illegal behaviour.

He said, "I joined the protection and patrol work with wetland staff more than ten years ago. I used to fish in the wetlands. I know each groove of the wetlands, and where other fishermen usually hide. I didn’t understand their work at the beginning, but gradually with more contact, I started to change my thining."

"I often tell my own story to these fishermen. I tell them that sustainable development is important to us as fishermen. If we destroy the environment we have no fish, we cannot live, nor can our children."

Patrol work at the wetlands is anything but easy. More than 200 patrols have been carried out so far. They have helped co the number of animal and plant species in the wetlands, including many nationally protected animals and plants. Some residents and fishermen have also volunteered to join conservation efforts.

The average age of this group of cyclists is above 65 years old. They use their spare time to promote the idea of the knowledge of the wetland.

79-year-old Chen Changbao is a team leader. He joined his cycling group 11 years ago. 

He said, "Two time every week, they will make bicycle tour inside the city or in nearby province to let people know the importance of the wetland. Jiuduansha is precious to Shanghai, we’d like to let more people know the existence of this land." 

The wetlands is not open to the public. But residents still can visit a newly-built exhibition hall to know more about the wetlands and its beautiful landscapes.

Wetlands education plays an important role in conservation efforts. It increases people's awareness of environmentally sensitive areas. And helps communities develop environmentally sustainable practices.

Source:CCTV.com Editor:Hiram