The Status and Development of the Yangtze River: An Ecological View

Wednesday, September 11, 2013: 8:40 AM
Marriott Ballroom B (The Marriott Little Rock)
Huatong Deng , Yangtze Fisheries Institute, CAFS, Wuhan, China
Jiawen Ba , Yangtze River Fisheries Research Institute of CAFS, Wuhan, China
Daqing Chen , Yangtze River Fisheries Research Institute of CAFS, Wuhan, China
The Yangtze River, covering an area of 1.8 million km2, is the largest river in China. The mainstream along with its 3,000 tributaries and 4,000 lakes provide important habitats for 1,100 kinds of aquatic organisms, including over 370 fish species. However, the ecosystem has been dramatically altered over the past several decades due to heavy anthropogenic activities. The hydraulic dam construction, overexploitation and water pollution resulted in habitat fragmentation, shrinkage or degradation and decline of biodiversity. In addition, invasion of exotic species, navigation, river dredging, diking, the extensive soil erosion, land reclamation, sedimentation and global climate change are also serious problems threatening the aquatic resources in the basin. To offset the detrimental effects of these threats, the establishment of a number of nature reserves and the implementation of several measures such as artificial enhancement and release, ecological rehabilitation, fishery management within past years which have restored habitats and biodiversity to some degree. Although a variety of measures have been taken, these efforts are still inadequate. It is recommended that comprehensive conservation strategy should be improved and especially public awareness of the river protection, and scientific researches should be strengthened to achieve sustainable utilization and development of resources in the Yangtze.