"The saury is back!" In March of this year, during the flood season of saury migration, in Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu, near the Yangtze River, researchers made a surprising discovery.

  The migration of saury is inseparable from the restoration of the ecological environment of the Yangtze River.

And this is closely related to the fishermen coming ashore.

Behind the jumping on the river is the change and transformation of those "retired fishermen"...


  In the early morning, Bukou Wei on the north side of the small town of Zhangjiagang.

The morning breeze mixed with the fragrance of grass and trees blew in strands from the beachhead, slowly pushing the fog on the river to the shore.

Where the fog is scattered, the grass is green and the trees are lush.

  Chen Shiming, a 60-year-old villager from Hongzha Village, is rafting on the water.

He pushed the bamboo pole hard, and the boat pushed away the reed-sword-like leaves and floated on the sparkling water.

  As long as you pass the front bay road, the quiet Sangan River at the foot will rush into the river.

Looking at the place where the water and the sky meet, the river happily hugs the open river surface, causing a rippling wave.

  This is a beautiful scene that belongs to Chen Shiming alone, and a smile blooms on his dark face.

  Chen Shiming has lived by the river since he was a child and has been a fisherman for nearly half a century, but now he has retired from fishing for three years.

  The story of Chen Shiming's retreat from fishing has to start with the "Red Post in Linjiang".

  As early as 2018, the Zhangjiagang City Public Security Bureau Zhaofeng Police Station led the villages (communities) and enterprises in the area to build the "Party Construction Alliance along the River", and the "Linjiang Red Station" is the "outpost" that provides various convenient services for fishermen. Station".

  In December 2019, the "Linjiang Red Post" was selected by the Zhangjiagang Municipal Government as the bridgehead for the city's ban on fishing in the main stream of the Yangtze River and the implementation of the "first trial" for the resettlement of fishermen.

When more than 300 fishermen came ashore in four villages including Hongzha and Honglian, more than 300 factory direct recruitment positions and more than 60 public welfare placement positions have been prepared.

  Chen Shiming was the first batch of resettlement targets for "helping and returning from fishing".

Because "the ground is familiar, the water is familiar, the people are familiar, and the fish is cooked", together with the two old buddies on the ship, he was recommended to the public welfare placement of the town's agricultural comprehensive administrative law enforcement brigade, and cooperated with fishery law enforcement and the Yangtze River. patrol.

  One telescope, two searchlights, more than 30 kilometers of coastline along the river... From combating illegal fishing, to cleaning up prohibited fishing gear and nets, to improving the structure of the biological community in the waters, the former fishermen have turned into the current river protectors. It is probably a life path that Chen Shiming never thought of.

  This year, three old buddies have gradually retired from their posts.

In just three years, Chen Shiming and his colleagues have fished out "ground cages" and "gillnets" and other tools that can fill a physical evidence room, and have also assisted in the detection of more than 20 criminal cases.

  Resignation does not leave the river.

Chen Shiming is still a volunteer of the "Linjiang Guards".

The "Riverside Guard" was originally a volunteer team composed of more than ten fishermen who had returned from fishing in the "Riverside Party Building Alliance".

As the concept of the protection of the Yangtze River has gradually become popular, this team has received strong support from many government departments, and has attracted the continuous participation of environmental protection forces from all walks of life.

  From his own fishing boats to law enforcement patrol boats, to this leaf boat, Chen Shiming has always been with the river.

  At present, the main task of the "Riverside Guard" is to salvage surface garbage and restore ecological river channels.

"This job looks small, I really want to do it well, but it's not easy." Chen Shiming said.

  Guided the boat ashore, Chen Shiming quickly picked up a small net bag, put it on his shoulder, and jumped off the deck vigorously.

Three years ago, this pocket contained the rare Yangtze saury.

Three years later, it's still the same net bag, containing a few ding-dong cans picked up from the water.

  In the wind and waves of the Yangtze River, Chen Shiming knew how to be in awe of this great river.

He knows that he must protect this mother river, because this is the wealth that belongs to his children and grandchildren.

  After settling in Hongzha Village, Chen Shiming built a two-story building on the homestead allocated by the village. Half of the money for the building came from the government's resettlement subsidy.

  Living in peace can lead to a happy career.

In the past three years, seventeen such small buildings have been built in just one village in Hongzha Village.

For resettlement fishermen who are unwilling to build houses, the village also provides resettlement houses with river views.

  Fishing on the water is destined to be hard and tiring. Chen Shiming's wife Xu Guiping has been plagued by arthritis, a disease that fishermen easily get.

During the resettlement, Xu Guiping voluntarily gave up the employment opportunity provided.

What she thought was: "I don't know many words, and my health is not good. I can't cause trouble to other units. I just want to help my son and help bring up my grandson."

  When fishermen like Xu Guiping are old, disabled or incapable of working, when they go ashore, the city pays the urban residents social endowment insurance for them.

Even if they lose the ability to work, they still have a fixed income every month, and they can enjoy the dividends of several thousand yuan from the village's rural joint-stock cooperatives every year, as well as special condolence subsidies for traditional festivals.

  Not only Xu Guiping, but last year, more than 300 fishermen ashore in Zhangjiagang City achieved full participation in the insurance.

In particular, in terms of medical treatment, township health centers reimburse the full amount, and urban hospitals reimburse 90 percent.

In the past, the fishermen's dilemma of "working hard for half a lifetime to become rich and becoming poor overnight due to illness" is gone forever.

  Thinking of the curling smoke in the new house, Chen Shiming was eager to go home. He hummed the fisherman's tune and walked briskly on the beach...


  At the head of Honglian Village, the sun is just right, and people are sweating.

Wu Hanzhang squatted on the ridge and wrote the mediation agreement. He wrote it stroke by stroke and read it word by word.

  "Have a good time, we'll have the meal next time, I'll have class in a while." Saying goodbye to the reconciled young couple, Wu Hanzhang hurried to the police office of Honglian Village.

  Wu Hanzhang, who is 61 years old this year, was the first fisherman who signed the "Linjiang Red Station" to retire from fishing and took the initiative to go ashore.

  "If there are fewer fish, the balance will be broken, and the Yangtze River will lose its ability to purify itself. After drinking the water of the Yangtze River for a lifetime, everyone understands these principles. I just gave everyone a good start." Wu Hanzhang said.

  At the age of fifteen, he got on the boat, and Wu Hanzhang learned all the skills of fishermen without a teacher.

After having his own fishing boat, he also created an original fishing net transformation technique and shared it with fishermen near and far for free.

Gradually, Wu Hanzhang's reputation stood on the dock.

Everyone in the fishing village likes to ask him for justice.

  After returning from fishing and landing, Wu Hanzhang was introduced to a company by the Zhaofeng police station.

Unexpectedly, on the first day of work, he was appointed as the head of corporate security.

  But within a year, Wu Hanzhang wanted to do something more challenging.

  "As long as you can read the book, we will send you to the town to participate in the training of 'Law Understanders', to ensure that you do well." Director Zhou Feng assured Wu Hanzhang.

  "People who understand the law" refer to villagers who have good legal literacy and certain legal knowledge, actively participate in the practice of the rule of law, and can play a leading and exemplary role.

This is undoubtedly a new challenge for Wu Hanzhang, a former fisherman, but he is willing to accept it.

He dyed his white hair black and specially equipped a pair of reading glasses to attend the training at the judicial office on time.

Half a year later, he successfully passed the exam and became a glorious grass-roots legal worker.

  Speaking of his current job, Wu Hanzhang is very satisfied.

When he was a fisherman in the past, he liked to help everyone. Now that he is not a fisherman, he still wants to help others.

  When "the law understands people", Wu Hanzhang has his own set.

He can speak Mandarin, but he speaks very slowly.

In the middle of speaking, even if no one interrupts, he will take the initiative to stop and wait for the other party's response with friendly eyes.

"I pay more attention to what others have heard than what I have said." Wu Hanzhang explained.

  At the beginning of the year, Wu Hanzhang's law-making studio was established in the police office of Honglian Village.

The legal bibliography related to the protection of the Yangtze River, rural revitalization, and family education is the first batch of books purchased by the studio.

  In the eyes of Wu Hanzhang, who is in his sixtieth year and has not stopped studying every day, the work of "people who understand the law" has a long way to go.

  On the way to transition, after several rounds of job introductions and professional guidance from the "Red Station in Linjiang", many fishermen have chosen corporate jobs with good salary.

But like Wu Hanzhang, there are some who choose public welfare jobs.

After going ashore, they have been active in the front line of grassroots governance such as village (community) grid service centers and judicial offices.


  "Come on!" Chen Sufang responded loudly when she heard the shouts of the diners in the house ordering food, trotting over the tablecloth halfway through.

After wiping her hands on her apron, she took out a small order book from her bib.

  In the fisherman's restaurant in Hongzha Village, the proprietress Chen Sufang was so busy, but her face was full of spring breeze.

  Chen Sufang has a pair of wide palms, which are covered with cracked lines and calluses.

There is also an inconspicuous mark at the base of the left thumb. Five ink dots are slanted to form the shape of "five" on a dice.

  "When I was three years old, my parents gave it to me. Fishermen's children are easy to lose. When they see these five points, they can send them back." Chen Sufang explained.

  Three years ago, Chen Sufang was still a fisherman living on a boat.

Facing the policeman Zhang Huixiang who came to pick up the villagers to "go ashore and settle down", she kept staring at her hand, silently fascinated.

  "I've been fishing in the water for generations, and I don't have a home on the shore. I can't go back if I want to." That day, the wind was blowing on the river, and Chen Sufang's nose was a little sore.

  Chen Sufang, who is middle-aged, is old and young.

What she thought was that, when she got ashore, the compensation for fishing boats and fishing gear would eventually be eaten up; on the river, no matter how hard or tired she was, she was confident to rely on her own hands and be self-reliant.

  Zhang Huixiang understood Chen Sufang very well.

Among the many fishermen, Chen Sufang's concerns are very realistic and representative.

The fifty-five-year-old Zhang Huixiang was born here, grew up here, and served here.

He has been a police officer in the river all his life, and he knows best about the confusion and confusion of the fishermen.

  "A good policy must first be explained clearly." After more than 30 years of mass work, Zhang Huixiang's thinking is very clear.

In the face of fishermen who live in no fixed place and go out at night, in addition to seizing the opportunity to visit on the boat, Zhang Huixiang's policy propaganda also relies on "gossip" in the east and west of the "police and civilian contact WeChat group".

  "Our brothers and sisters can wash their feet and go ashore, and live and work in peace and contentment, and Lao Zhang's heart will be at ease." Zhang Huixiang is used to sending voice messages in the group, "One is that everyone is not literate, and the other is that the text seems 'life-like'. "

  The word "shengfen", Zhang Huixiang considers himself a "taboo" in community policing work.

Use "we" to refer to all the fishermen, and "Old Zhang" to refer to myself.

Without the words "you" and "me" when speaking, you will naturally "disregard you and me" when getting along.

  Facing Zhang Huixiang, who had repeatedly rolled up his trouser legs and crossed the beach to board the boat, Chen Sufang was moved when he heard the precise and "translated" help plan.

  "It is not only for everyone to understand, but also to make the benefits visible and tangible." Knowing that Chen Sufang was interested in cooking, Zhang Huixiang contacted Zhangjiagang Vocational Education Center through the grid linkage mechanism on the same day, hoping to help She provides systematic vocational training.

Then, she also helped her find the idle facade of the village.

  Today, the average monthly turnover of Chen Sufang's small restaurant easily exceeds 10,000 yuan.

It is also hard work, but it is less cramped and uneasy than chasing the wind and waves.

  For Chen Sufang, the success of the catering business is of course joy, but the biggest gain after landing is the change in the relationship with her son.

  In the past, it was less than five kilometers from the boat moored on the river to the hut rented by her son, but Chen Sufang's mother and son could only see each other once a week.

"My son was brought up by his grandmother when he was a child, and he was timid when he saw me." Recalling the past, Chen Sufang's eyes turned red.

  After moving into the Anju house in the village, Chen Sufang and her son became closer in the day and night.

In this year's college entrance examination, his son became the first college student in the fishing family, and for this, he also received a 1,000 yuan scholarship from the village.

  When sending her son to college in Nanjing, Chen Sufang bought a new energy car. The only decoration in the car was a small sailboat on the center console.

  "Smooth sailing!" Chen Sufang had recited these four words many times in the past days of fishing.

Unexpectedly, now it has finally come true after landing.


  Next to the Party Building Service Center in Hongzha Village, in the "Red Fishermen" exhibition hall under construction, the traditional costumes of the fishermen at weddings and funerals in ancient times, the fishing boats taken by the People's Liberation Army during the battle of crossing the river, and the rare fish specimens recovered in the protection of the Yangtze River ... presented in chronological order, one by one catches the eye.

  Zhang Tao, the 55-year-old party secretary of the village, is sitting in front of the computer, scrutinizing and sifting through the photos one by one.

  "The construction of this museum was decided by the whole village. The purpose is to inherit the fishermen's culture of self-reliance and hard work, to record the turning point changes in the ecological quality along the river, and to tell the story of the transformation of fishermen to live ashore." Zhang Tao said.

  "Actually, the construction of this small venue has been underway since 2020, and the progress of the work cannot be accelerated, mainly because of the changes that have occurred in the past two years, which are always surprising, and the construction plan has also changed again and again." He explained.

  Since the Zhangjiagang Municipal Government launched the Zhangjiagang Bay Ecological Improvement Project in 2019, the ecological coastline of the city's more than 80 kilometers of Yangtze River coastline has been continuously restored. As of June this year, the proportion of the restored coastline is close to 100%. of seventy-five.

  "In the past, when extensive development was carried out, the riverside was full of production shorelines, overgrown with weeds and barren. Now, on the other side of the busy cargo ship, there is a green and tall shelter forest." Zhang Tao witnessed the Yangtze River Shoreline changes.

The national first-class protected animal, the Chinese merganser duck, reappeared in the wetlands, the finless porpoises swam in the river in groups, and the surface water quality was constantly updated and recorded... One after another landmark event made Zhang Tao continue to express new emotions.

  This year, for the preparation of the venue, Zhang Tao once again visited the fishermen who came ashore from every household in the village.

He found that when talking about the past, the fishermen would still happily recount the days of sailing and sailing, but few were willing to return to the wandering life in the wind and rain.

"At that time, the fishermen went out to watch the moon and follow the tide to make a living. Now they have a regular schedule and a stable life. I almost didn't recognize the complexion of several young men." Zhang Tao smiled.

  Walking out of the exhibition hall, the green tree village is close to the edge, and the green hills are sloping outside.

The setting sun reflects the mottled white walls and black tiles, the chirping of birds returning to their nests, and the fragrant smell of camphor, filling the avenues at the entrance of the village.

  The new fisherman's story, here, has just begun...

  All pictures are taken by Ni Wei

  Layout Design: Zhao Xiru

  Zhao Jiaxin Wang Chao

Zhao Jiaxin Wang Chao

Zhao Jiaxin Wang Chao