Fisherman’s Efforts Bring Dramatic Change to His Hainan Village

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Hainan Village Party Leader Wang Shumao

Wang Shumao, secretary of the Communist Party of China’s Tanmen Village Committee in southern China’s Hainan Province, made sure to gather ideas on how to bring more innovation to local industry of recreational fishing, drafting suggestions on behalf of fellow anglers for the recently concluded 20th CPC National Congress.

“Supported by stronger consumer power, recreational fishing is becoming a basic need and a way of life for island residents and incoming tourists,” said Wang, who was a delegate at the congress.

“To better protect the marine resources of Tanmen and increase the income of local fishermen, we have explored new approaches such as mariculture, recreational fishing and homestay tourism in recent years to transform the traditional fishing activity. at sea.”

Located on the east coast of Hainan, Wang Village is part of the historic town of Tanmen, now a popular fishing port accommodating around 1,000 fishing boats and a major distribution base for deep-sea fish products in the country.

Since the age of 18, Wang has followed in his father’s footsteps, making a living fishing in the ripples of the South China Sea, which villagers call their ancestral sea. Now the 66-year-old veteran captain has become a beloved man in the local community for dedicating himself to exploring new ways to revitalize the fishing village.

Wang and his fellow citizens had the most unforgettable day of their lives on April 8, 2013, when President Xi Jinping came to Tanmen for an inspection tour and encouraged local fishermen to build bigger boats for fishing in high sea.

Wang responded actively and took out loans to build a steel fishing trawler, becoming the first owner of an 850-ton boat in Tanmen.

The boats fishermen typically used before 2013 were mostly wooden boats weighing 80 to 100 metric tons, with poor wind resistance, limited fishing capacity and meager revenues.

“Brother Wang always likes to share his successful experiences and the joy of his deep-sea fishing harvests with his big boat. His enthusiasm inspired some fishermen in town to build trawlers and go deep-sea fishing,” said Wang Zhenfu. , himself a captain.

In turn, Wang Shumao praised the efforts of the fishermen.

“Supported by stronger and more comprehensive national policies, the Tanmen fishermen have built around 100 large steel trawlers capable of operating on the high seas,” he said.

“Fitted with weatherproof facilities for navigation, salvage, fire protection and safety monitoring, and possessing modern telecommunications facilities and spacious storage for sockets on the high seas, the vessels provide a framework more comfortable lifestyle for life at sea.”

Wang has also spared no effort to find technicians, funds and even land to help his fellow citizens, especially those who cannot afford deep-sea fishing operations, to explore diversified activities. recreational fishing and mariculture.

He and other village chiefs organized more than 400 fishermen to create five recreational fishing cooperatives to develop deep-sea fishing, homestays and diving activities.

About 160 restaurants have sprung up in Tanmen in recent years. Now a famous tourist and cultural fishing destination in Hainan, it attracts 1.6 million tourists a year, according to local authorities.

Wang, who was also a deputy to the 13th National People’s Congress, said he was glad that suggestions on regulating sea fishing and promoting recreational fishing he put forward in 2018 received immediate responses from national authorities. of agriculture, and that relevant progress has been made.

“We have more tall buildings, more cement roads, more cars, more new boats and more tourists in the village. More importantly, the villagers earn more money and have more aspirations,” said he declared. “The changes are dramatic.”

Wang won the July Day Medal – the Party’s highest honor – last year in recognition of his outstanding contributions to safeguarding the country’s rights and interests in the South China Sea, as well as the country’s cause. and the Party to serve the people.

“The sea is where I live and where I grew up,” he said. “It is my lifelong pursuit to lead Tanmen fishermen to make good use of and protect our ancestral South China Sea to pursue a happy life.”

According to incomplete statistics, Wang Shumao has organized fishermen to fight typhoons more than 120 times and rescued over 600 fishermen over the past 50 years.

Over the next three years, Hainan plans to build eight high-quality recreational fishing demonstration bases, four sea fishing competition bases, 12 recreational marine ranches and seven recreational fishing pilot towns, government officials said. provincial.

“Tanmen fishermen will make good use of their experiences and skills to be a model for these new development programs, and will further contribute to the creation of new prosperity for rural communities and more joyful experiences for people.” visiting Hainan,” Wang said.

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