Beijing: Some 8,000 fishing boats returned to ports on Monday as the 18th annual fishing ban began in the South China Sea. From May 16 to August 1, no fishing is allowed in parts of the sea under China's jurisdiction except by single-layer gill nets or other approved methods, including conventional angling, Xinhua news agency reported. During the ban, these fishermen receive training on regulations, new technology and navigational safety. Fishing bans in the South China Sea began in 1999. Although they have reduced the income of some fishermen, bans protect fisheries and ensure the industry's sustainability. Annual fishing bans began in the Yangtze river and Poyang lake in Jiangxi province, China's largest freshwater body in Jiangxi province, in March.