China imposes its annual fishing ban in the northern parts of the South China Sea. None of the fishing vessels in the area is allowed to take off and all nets must be kept aboard. Fishermen who violate the ban face a confiscation of their boats and catches, have their fishing licenses cancelled and are charged with a fine of up to 50,000 yuan. The fishing ban has been imposed since 1999. It aims to protect fishery resources in the South China Sea.