July 6, 2018
China consortium signs agreement to develop aquaculture farms on-board vessels
Shanghai Fisheries Group, China's biggest fishing firm, has recently signed an agreement with a consortium of other Chinese companies to develop vessel-based offshore aquaculture farms, according to an Eworldship report.
The mid-June framework was established in Lingang, Shanghai, by 26 shipbuilders and aquaculture businesses. It will see the creation of fish farms on-board special vessels, which could hold up to 80,000 cubic meters of water in cages used to farm salmon, tuna, yellowtail amberjack or yellow croaker.
Xu Wei, head of fishery machinery instrument research (China Fisheries Research Institute), explained that moving production to open waters is "necessary" due to China's natural resource constraints.
As for the special vessels, these will be designed to endure 12-level typhoons and produce up to 10,000 metric tonnes of fish annually - amounting to annual sales of more than CNY1 billion (US$150.4 million).
While the agreement underscores China's interest of late in a slew of deepwater aquaculture projects, an unnamed industry source told Undercurrent News that the conversion of vessels into fish farms "has been discussed for quite a while," but without significant progress.
"I think it is still a framework agreement, not a firm contract," the source added.