HEFEI, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Chen Lanxiang,
a 47-year-old fisherwoman along the Yangtze River, embraced lots of
changes after her new life began ashore, and perhaps the biggest one is
having a formal name.
Born as the
third child, the then little baby was registered as San Guniang, which
means the third girl in Chinese, because of a mistake made by her
Since then, the
numerical name San Guniang has been used on all her official documents.
She did not realize the mistake until applying for a marriage
certificate at the age of 22.
astonished, I was too busy fishing to change my name then, and people
say it doesn't make a difference anyway, as I'm always 'on the water,'"
Chen and her fisherman
husband lived in Xuejiawa, a harbor of the Yangtze River where people
have been fishing for generations, in the city of Ma'anshan in east
China's Anhui Province.
many others who fish for a living, the couple would steer the boat to
catch the fish before dawn and hurry to sell the fish ashore in the
"Life was hard then.
The 20-meter-long ship was our home, and it was chilly in winter and
muggy in summer. We were afraid of the windy days for it may overturn
our boats," she said, adding that they also saw a plummet in fish
catches in recent years.
Her children attended boarding school, and could only reunite with the family on the boat on weekends or holidays.
started to change since Ma'anshan implemented a fishing ban starting
May 1, 2019, in an effort to protect the biodiversity of the Yangtze
More than 10,000 local
fishers in this city bid farewell to the trade and settled on land while
5,651 fishing boats were dismantled.
this year, China instituted a 10-year fishing ban on 332 conservation
areas in the Yangtze River basin, which will be expanded to all major
natural waterways of the country's longest river and its major
tributaries starting from Jan. 1, 2021.
The couple waved goodbye to their five fishing boats and nets and began a new life ashore.
received a subsidy of over 240,000 yuan (about 35,767 U.S. dollars),
and the government also paid for their social insurance. With the
preferential policies, they bought a 100-square-meter house for 200,000
Regions along the Yangtze
River have been making efforts to improve the livelihood of those
affected by the fishing ban. Anhui Province has invested 2.45 billion
yuan in implementing the fishing ban so far.
participated in job skill training organized by the local government
after coming ashore and is preparing to cooperate with other ex-fishers
to set up a domestic services company.
husband joined a patrol team to stop illegal fishing on the Yangtze
River and clean waste in a park, which earns him over 3,000 yuan a
Chen finally had time to change her name with the help of the local government, switching from San Guniang to Chen Lanxiang.
the past year, Chen has witnessed not only changes in her life but also
the transformation of her previous home along the Yangtze River.
the harbor where she used to live, was occupied by polluting
industries, illegal docks and breeding bases for a long time.
had to close the door and windows on the boat because of the heavy dust
from the neighboring cement plant," said Chen. "The seriously-polluted
water was covered with rubbish."
year, Ma'anshan implemented a project to improve the environment along
the Yangtze River, with all polluting industries closed and the clean
Thanks to the efforts, the once dirty place has become an ecological park with clean water, green forests and many visitors.
I am free, I like to appreciate the beautiful scenery here. I'm proud
of the changes as I also made a contribution to it," Chen said. Enditem