The fishing moratorium in the East China Sea was partially lifted on Monday and the first fleet of more than 1,100 fishing boats in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province set sail.
Fishing boats in coastal cities including Zhoushan and Ningbo also upped anchor and set sail after the three-month ban, which means consumers will soon have an abundance of fresh fish, shrimp and crab on their tables.
Unlike previous years, the fishing boats setting out from Wenzhou this year are more intelligent and are equipped with new technologies such as broadband access at sea and telephones to improve communication efficiency, Zhejiang Daily reported.
"After renovation, the fishing boats will be safer and more comfortable. I hope I will be lucky enough to fill the hold and come back soon," said Lin Houwu, a captain.
In Ningbo, fishermen, mainly concentrated in Xiangshan, will fish for shrimp and swimming crab.
The first catches from the East China Sea will be sold to the market two or three days after they are caught at sea, based on previous experience.
Zhou Haiping, a fishing boat captain in Hangzhou, said he and his crew would set sail Monday noon and return on Wednesday, according to Hangzhou Daily.
"The population of swimming crab has recuperated during the fishing moratorium. A large number of them will be seen on the market in Hangzhou by Friday," Zhou said.
Swimming crabs are a bestseller in the livestreaming market, where broadcasters presell seafood to customers nationwide.
Zhou Juan, an aquatic product merchant in Hangzhou, is optimistic about sales of swimming crab this year.
"Seafood populations have gradually returned to the same level as when I was a child thanks to the fishing ban promoted in recent years, though it has not yet reached the peak like when the fishing nets were bursting with crabs. Fishermen's catches have indeed improved a lot," she said.
To ensure the navigational safety of commercial fishing boats, local maritime safety and agriculture administrations have arranged for law enforcement vessels to patrol in key waters and have released safety alerts to guide navigation.
Lianyungang in Jiangsu province, neighboring Zhejiang, has also ended its moratorium and started fishing on Monday.
Since the moratorium came into force on May 1, the city has dispatched 324 law enforcement vessels and 138 illegal fishing boats have been seized, according to local authorities.
Ma Zhenhuan in Hangzhou and Cang Wei in Nanjing contributed to this story.