May 16, 2020


China aquaculture veers toward higher-value species



China is going the direction of aquaculture modernisation, including the development of new state-of-the-art aquaculture facilities and a shift in strategy from mass production of low-value species like carp and tilapia to higher-value species like grouper, sea bass, trout and salmon, SeafoodSource reports.


The report said that this year's "Number One Document" from China's Department of Agriculture, which sets the department's priorities for the year ahead, calls for an "industrial-scale" development of recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facilities and for the promotion of fish-rice co-production and "carbon capture fisheries."


It also prioritises further mitigation of mudflat and earthenware aquaculture, a primary source of production of low-value species.


One new project getting support from the government is the 30,000-square-metre modern fishery industrial park at Taojing, near Rizhao city. The Donggang Water Group, a government utilities company, spent CNY260 million (US$36.4 million) to open the park, a new RAS facility growing grouper and sea bass.


Another government document, "Shandong Provincial Level 2019 Review of Poverty Alleviation by Dragon Head Companies," recently published by authorities in Qingdao, the coastal city at the heart of the aquaculture and seafood processing region of Shandong, wants fishery companies to collaborate with state academic and research agencies to deliver higher-value species.


In addition to upping the value of its aquaculture production, Qingdao seeks to shift more of it into the sea. For example, it has given support to Shandong Deepwater Coldwater Group Development Co.'s installation of a second deep-water cage to follow up on its groundbreaking offshore salmon cage.


"Ocean production will give a wild taste," it says. "It will also reduce fat content in the fish and increase the value four- or five-fold".