China has completed a survey of fishery resources in the middle and southern regions of the South China Sea after two years of research, said a Chinese expert on Monday [23 February 2015]. The survey showed the area around the Nansha Islands has fishery reserves of about 1.8 million tonnes, with about half a million tonnes available for fishing, said Yang Beisheng, deputy head of the South China Sea Fisheries Research Institute under the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences…Full Article: The Global Times Feb 2015

Key Points

  • In 2013, China’s advanced maritime fishery survey ship, the Nan Feng, began carrying out surveys in the South China Sea. As of early 2015, eight such surveys have been undertaken.
  • According to the survey there are more than 20 fish species of rare or high value around the Nansha Islands (aka Spratly Islands, located in the southern portion of the South China Sea).
  • The fishery reserves at the mesopelagic depth (200 to 1000 meters or ~660 to 3,300 feet) around the islands of Zhongsha (northeast of the Spratly Islands) and Xisha (aka Paracel Islands northwest of the Spratly islands) are estimated to be between 73 million to 172 million MTs.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In 2010, China accounted for 60% of global aquaculture production (by volume) and had ~14 million people (26% of the world total) engaged as fishers and fish farmers (FAO). In 2009, China produced approximately 21 million metric tons (MTs) of freshwater fish or 48% of global output, and 5.3 million MTs of crustaceans or 49% of global output.
  • Chinese saltwater seafood production is dominated by fish and shellfish, with a relatively even distribution of artificially cultured (i.e. farmed) and naturally grown seafood, however the trend is towards artificially cultured products.

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