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Chongqing Court Issues Sentencing Guidelines for Illegal Fishing

Sat, 18 Sep 2021
Categories: China Legal Trends

On 12 Aug. 2021, Chongqing High People's Court held a press conference to release the Sentencing Guidelines for Illegal Fishing (hereinafter “the Guidelines”, 关于非法捕捞犯罪的量刑指引). The Guidelines aims to unify the trial standards for criminal cases on illegal fishing in Chongqing, and to crack down on illegal fishing, in line with the "ten-year fishing ban" in key waters of the Yangtze River Basin implemented since 1 Jan. 2021.

The Guidelines includes the extent of damage to the water ecological environment caused by a criminal act into the circumstances for sentencing. For instance, pursuant to the Guidelines, where an offender fishes through "electricity, poison or explosion" or by using a prohibited tool or method which seriously damages the water ecological environment such as single trawling or pair trawling, the sentencing shall be fixed-term imprisonment of at least six months.

Besides, the Guidelines divides the key water areas of the Yangtze River Basin into five types according to the nature of water areas, and takes the main breeding period (from 1 Mar. to 30 June of each year) and the important breeding time (from 10: 00 PM to 6: 00 AM) of aquatic organisms as the important factors for adjusting the criminal punishment. For illegal fishing in waters with high protection value, and in spring and at night, higher penalties will be adopted in sentencing.



Cover Photo by Alan Cutter ( on Unsplash

Contributors: CJO Staff Contributors Team

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