April 21, 2023, the Yu Wang Wu Qi (English: No Discarded Fishing Gear) seminar was held in Beijing to address the issue of abandoned fishing gear in the ocean, which is a significant source of marine plastic pollution. Every year, hundreds of thousands of tons of fishing nets, lines, and equipment are abandoned in the ocean worldwide, causing serious damage to marine ecosystems and the fishing industry. The long decomposition cycle of plastic materials, combined with the difficulty of cleaning up abandoned fishing gear, exacerbates the problem. Abandoned fishing gear has become a major source of marine "white pollution" and a global environmental hazard.
As one of the world's major fishing nations, China is also a major consumer of fishing gear, making the issue particularly relevant. In response, China, being a responsible major country, has been actively working to address the issue, both domestically and internationally. This seminar aims to promote the management and control of abandoned fishing gear and encourage green recycling and comprehensive utilization of discarded fishing gear. The event was organized by the Society of Entrepreneurs and Ecology Foundation (SEE Foundation) and the China Fisheries Machinery and Instrument Industry Association, with support from various public organizations such as the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences' East China Sea Fisheries Research Institute, and the Wild Aid Beijing Office, etc.
The seminar drew together experts and representatives from various government departments, industry associations, research institutions, and public organizations to discuss strategies for reducing the amount of abandoned fishing gear in the ocean. Attendees shared experiences and best practices, and the seminar included discussions on the latest developments in fishing gear design and production, as well as innovative approaches to recycling and reusing discarded gear.
The seminar highlighted the importance of marine environmental protection and the need for responsible and sustainable development in the fishing industry. The attendees emphasized that it is not enough to simply focus on reducing the amount of abandoned fishing gear; efforts must also be made to promote responsible fishing practices and encourage the adoption of more environmentally-friendly fishing gear. They also stressed the need for greater international cooperation and joint action to address the global issue of marine plastic pollution.
In conclusion, the "Yu Wang Wu Qi" seminar demonstrated China's commitment to addressing the issue of abandoned fishing gear and promoting sustainable development in the fishing industry. At the seminar, the "Yu Wang Wu Qi Initiative" was jointly launched by a diverse group of stakeholders to call for continued cooperation and joint action on a national and global scale to protect the marine environment and ensure a sustainable future for the fishing industry.