April 11, 2024


Chinese experts advocate collaborative aquaculture initiative to tackle overfishing


Chinese experts see potential for collaboration between China and Southeast Asian nations in advancing aquaculture, offering a viable solution to combat overfishing in the region, China Daily reported.


During the 2024 Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Youth Dialogue on Regional Cooperation in Marine Economy, held in Haikou, Hainan province, experts emphasized the importance of marine ranching as a sustainable practice.


Hu Bo, director of Peking University's Centre for Marine Strategy, highlighted China's expertise in aquaculture, noting that 80% of China's fish harvest now stems from the sector, signalling a shift away from reliance on wild fish resources.


China's proactive efforts in promoting marine ranching have led to it contributing approximately 5% of the total aquaculture produce, significantly aiding in the preservation of wild fish stocks.


Hu underscored the unsustainable nature of excessive fishing in the South China Sea, which accounts for 10% of global capture while covering only 1% of the world's ocean area. This trend poses a significant challenge as Southeast Asian economies experience rapid expansion and increased demand for fishery products.


He suggested that China's experiences in marine aquaculture and ranching could serve as a model for Southeast Asia to achieve a balance between development and environmental conservation. China stands ready to provide support in funding, technology, and equipment to facilitate cooperation in this endeavour.


Ben Lee, general secretary of the Malaysian Chamber of Commerce in Shenzhen, echoed Hu's sentiments, expressing hope for collaborative efforts between China and Southeast Asian countries to promote marine ranching. Lee emphasized the need for Southeast Asian nations to adopt innovative techniques to utilize ocean resources effectively.


Li Nan, senior engineer and chief researcher of CNOOC Energy Economics Institute's Section of Ocean Economics, proposed integrated development of marine ranching and marine wind power as a means to reduce carbon emissions and enhance sustainability. He noted that China and RCEP countries possess suitable geographical conditions for such endeavours and can leverage each other's expertise to drive progress in this area.


-      China Daily

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