A regulation in the pipeline that would ban fishing for knife fish in the Yangtze River has created an unprecedented surge of interest in Shanghai to eat what could be the last bite of the river delicacy, pushing the price up of the already expensive fish. One veteran restaurant worker said she had never seen so much interest in the fish. “I have been working here since I graduated from middle school more than 40 years ago, and we have never had so many customers,” said the woman, a cashier at the Lao Ban Zhai restaurant who gave her surname as Liu…Full Article: China Daily Mar 2016

Key Point

  • In late December 2015, China’s Ministry of Agriculture published a notice that it was investigating the potential protective species listings of the Yangtze knife fish and shad. In general, knife fish fishing season runs from March 1st to April 20th.

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 freshwater seafood production is dominated by artificially cultured (i.e. farmed) fish. From 2000 to 2011, freshwater fish production increased an average of 5% annually. From 2009 to 2011, this rise equated to 1.1. million MT year-on-year production increase. The production of freshwater shrimps, prawns, and crabs exhibited the most robust growth, with output increasing an average of 13% per year from 2000 to 2011. However, from 2010 to 2011, output rose only marginally (<1%), plateauing at 2.4 million MTs. Freshwater shellfish production was minimal and hovered around 520,000 MTs from 2006 to 2011.
  • 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. From 2000 to 2010, saltwater fish production was stagnant and ranged from 8.8 million to 9.1 million MTs. In 2011, saltwater fish production spiked, topping 10 million MTs for the first time ever. Saltwater shellfish production showed more robust growth, increasing on average 3% annually from 2000 to 2011. Over the same period, saltwater shrimp, prawns, and crab production ranged from 2.5 million to 3.2 million MTs per year. Algae production has shown remarkable growth, increasing on average 4% annually from 2000 to 2011.

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