China will impose a routine fishing ban in northern parts of the South China Sea, including the waters around Huangyan Island, for two and a half months beginning May 16, authorities announced Monday.
All fishing vessels should be moored and nets shelved during the ban, according to a spokesman for the South China Fisheries Administration Bureau of the Ministry of Agriculture. Violators can have their catches and boats confiscated, fishing licenses revoked and be fined up to 50,000 yuan (7,936 U.S. dollars).
The ban will only be imposed in areas north of the 12 degrees north latitude — which includes Huangyan Island but excludes most of the 820,000 square-km Nansha Islands, the spokesman said.
Imposed annually since 1999, the ban is aimed at protecting fishery resources in the South China Sea. Since 2009, it has been imposed starting on May 16 and ending August 1.