East China to expand artificial reefs

The east China coastal province of Shandong hopes to replenish rapidly depleting fish stocks by expanding artificial reefs from 5.5 to 30 square kilometres over the next three years, state media reported on Wednesday.

In the past four decades, Xinhua news agency said, fish stocks have plummeted due to pollution and over-fishing along the east China coast.

The first reefs were laid two years ago, leading harvests to rise by 225 tonnes, the report said, citing the provincial marine fishing department.

"We saw algae clumps prosper on the man-made reefs last year, and the amount of aquatic resources finally soared this year," Wang Shutian, a marine fisheries official, was quoted as saying.

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