Overfishing in Chinese rivers and seas has seriously depleted stocks and the government is to cut the size of the nation’s fishing fleet, the agricultural ministry said…Full Article: South China Morning Post Aug 2016

Key Point

  • According to China’s Ministry of Agriculture, China typically catches 8 million to 9 million MTs of fish per year, but catches have totaled approximately 13 million MTs over the past few years. Additionally, in rivers, China’s top four fish species have seen their egg laying decrease from 30 billion to under 1 billion. Accordingly, China has issued recommendations that Hainan Island maintain its current fishing fleet size, while certain other provinces decrease their fleet size by 3%.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In May 2016, Chinese scientists looking into open-net salmon farming within a cold mass of the Yellow Sea. A research team from Ocean University of China, Qingdao, Shandong Province, has purchased 120,000 salmon eggs from the USA to conduct their experiment. By October 2016, the research team will place the salmon fry and parr (i.e. baby salmon and juvenile salmon) in a 13 sq. km cold water mass within the Yellow Sea. By 2018, the salmon (~4 kgs each) will be fished and sold. Partnering with Qingdao’s Ocean University of China is Wanzefeng Fishery. This company will construct a two-hectare facility for salmon egg fertilization, cold storage facilities, as well as renovate a ship to assist in transporting the salmon.
  • In April 2016, Jilin Province released more than 800,000 salmon fry (e.g. Chum salmon or dog salmon) and 500 other fish fry species into the Tumen River. Over the past five years, Jilin Province has released 2.3 million salmon fry, 3.4 million juvenile crabs, and 270,000 other fish species into the Tumen River.
  • In August 2015, Shandong Oriental Ocean Sci-Tech (SHE:002086) became China’s first company to import and farm Atlantic salmon eggs. According to the Manager of the Yantai Economy and Technology Development Zone (subsidiary of Shandong Oriental), the company operates 16 aquafarming stations (36,800 cubic meters of water) and produces approximately 1,000 MTs of Atlantic salmon annually.  He noted that China imports roughly 30,000 MTs to 50,000 MTs of Atlantic salmon per year.
  • From 2014 to 2015, mainland China’s imports of all aquaculture/seafood products decreased slightly from approximately 2.8 million MTs to 2.6 million MTs. Qingdao was the largest importer by volume, accounting for 42% (~1.1 million MTs) of mainland China’s imports in 2014 and 2015. Dalian (~34% of mainland of imports) was the second largest importer followed by Xiamen (5% import share).
  • From 2014 to 2015, Shanghai aquaculture imports (all seafood products) increased from 74,845 MTs to 81,571 MTs. In 2015, Shanghai accounted for just 3% of mainland China’s aquaculture imports. Shanghai customs stated that imports rose due to high demand and low import tariffs. Southeast Asia, Chile, New Zealand, and South Korea were the top suppliers.
  • In 2013, China produced 61.7 million products of seafood products, of which 31.4 million MTs were produced in seawater, while 30.3 million MTs in freshwater. Combined (seawater and freshwater), 45.4 million MTs of seafood products were artificially cultured while 16.3 million MTs were naturally grown.
  • The Pearl River has had seasonal fishing bans since 2011, while the Yangtze River area has been under a seasonal ban since 2002. The Pearl River ban affects ~115,000 fishermen as the river (China’s third-longest) runs more than 5,300 km and has over 1,300 sq. km of lakes.

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