Aquaculture in China

China , with one-fifth of the world’s population, accounts for two-thirds of the world’s aquaculture production. [2] [3]

Aquaculture is the farming of fish and other aquatic life in enclosures, such as ponds, lakes and tanks, or cages in rivers and coastal waters. China’s 2005 reported harvest was 32.4 million tonnes , more than 10 times that of the second-ranked nation, India , which reported 2.8 million tonnes. [2]

China’s 2005 reported catch of wild fish , caught in rivers, lakes, and the sea, was 17.1 million tonnes. This means that aquaculture accounts for nearly two-thirds of China’s reported total output.

The main aquaculture-producing regions are in Yangtze Valley and the Zhu Jiang delta.

Early history

Aquaculture began about 3500 BC in China with the farming of the common carp . These carp were grown in silk farms , and fed silkworm nymphs and faeces. [4] Carp are native to China. They are good to eat, and they are easy to farm since they are prolific breeders, do not eat their young, and grow fast. The original idea that they would be more likely to be aroused when they were washed up and paddy fields during monsoons. This would naturally lead to the idea of stocking ponds . [5]

In 475 BC, the Chinese politician Fan Li wrote the earliest known treatise on fish farming, Yang Yu Ching (Treatise on fish breeding) . The original document is in the British Museum.

During the Tang dynasty (618-907 AD), the Chinese word for common carp (鯉) sounded like the emperor ‘s family name, Li (李) . Anything that sounded like the emperor’s name. [6] The result was productive, because it resulted in the development of polyculture , growing multiple species in the same ponds. Different species feed on different foods and occupy different niches in the ponds. In this way, the Chinese were able to simultaneously breed four different species of carp, the mud carp , which are the bottom feeders , the silver carp and the bighead carp, which are midwater feeders, and grass carp which are top feeders. [4] [7] Another development during the dynasty was a fortunate genetic mutation of the domesticated carp, which led to the development of goldfish .

From 1368 AD, the Ming Dynasty Encouraged fish farmers to supply the live fish trade , qui Dominates Chinese fish sales to this day. [8] From 1500 AD, methods of collecting carp from rivers and then rearing them in ponds were developed. ” [5]

Recent history

Blood cockles ( Tegillarca granosa , 泥 蚶) and Chinese razor clams ( Ifovacula constricta , 缢 蛏) are the main species raised in the mudflats of Anhai Bay , near Shuitou, Fujian . [9]

The main carp species used in Chinese aquaculture are the black , grass , silver and bighead carp . [10] In the 1950s, the Pearl River Fishery Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences (CAFS) made a breakthrough in the induced breeding of these carps, induced by injecting fish pituitary hormones . [10]

In the past, fish culture in China, with traditional techniques passed from generation to generation. [11] However, in the late 1960s the Chinese government began a move to the modern induced breeding technologies, which has resulted in a rapid expansion of freshwater aquaculture in China. [11] [12]

From 1978, China’s economic policies moved from central planning towards a market economy, opening new markets for aquaculture products. The effect of this, together with further advancements. [11] In the 1980s, many species other than carp, such as other species of fish, crustaceans, molluscs and seaweeds, have been brought into production. However, in the late 1990s, CAFS scientists developed a new variant of the common carp called the Jian carp. This succulent fish grows quickly and has a high feed conversion rate . Over 50% of the total aquaculture production of carp in Jian carp. [10] [13]By 2004, the incidence of fish production was 46 percent of the total aquaculture output. [11]


Since 2002, China has been the world’s largest exporter of fish and fish products . In 2005, exports, including aquatic plants, were valued at US $ 7.7 billion, with Japan, the United States and the Republic of Korea as main markets. In 2005, China was sixth largest importer of fish and fish products in the world, with totalling imports of US $ 4.0 billion. [2]

In 2003, the overall per capita consumption was 16.5 kg, with Chinese consumption, based on her reported returns, at 25.8 kg. [2]

The common carp is still the number one fish of aquaculture. The annual tonnage of common carp, not to mention the other cyprinids , produced in China Exceeds the weight of all other fish, Such As trout and salmon, produced by aquaculture worldwide.

Since the 1970s, the reform policies have resulted in considerable development of China’s aquaculture, both marine and inland. The total used for aquaculture went from 2.86 million hectares in 1979 to 5.68 million hectares in 1996. Over the same time span, production increased from 1.23 million tonnes to 15.31 million tonnes. [14]

In 2005, worldwide aquaculture production including aquatic plants was worth US $ 78.4 billion. Of this, the Chinese production was worth US $ 39.8 billion. In the same year there were 12 million fish farmers worldwide. Of these, China reported 4.5 million employed full-time in aquaculture. [2]

Top 10 species grown in China in 2005
Species Tonnes [2]
Japanese kelp 4,314,000
Grass carp 3,857,000
Pacific cupped oyster 3,826,000
Silver carp 3,525,000
Japanese carpet shell 2,857,000
Common carp 2,475,000
Wakame 2,395,000
Bighead carp 2,182,000
Crucian carp 2,083,000
Yesso scallop 1,036,000
Production, area and yield: 2003 [15]
Total production
Area used
(kg / ha)
Overall total 30275795 7103648 4,260
Marine culture 12533061 1532152 8,180
Inland culture 17742734 5571496 3,180
Pond 12515093 2398740 5,220
Lake 1051930 936.262 1,120
reservoirs 1841245 1660027 1,110
Rivers 738.459 382.170 1,930
Rice paddies 1023611 1558042 660
Other 572.396 194.297 2,950

Inland aquaculture

In 1979, inland aquaculture occupied 237.8 million hectares and produced 813,000 tonnes. In 1996, they occupied 485.8 million hectares and produced 10.938 million tonnes. In that year, 17 provinces produced 100,000 tonnes from inland aquaculture. [14]

Pond culture is the most common method of inland aquaculture (73.9% in 1996). These ponds are mostly found around the Pearl River Basin and along the Yangtze River . They cover seven provinces: Anhui , Guangdong , Hubei , Hunan , Jiangsu , Jiangxi and Shandong . The government has also developed rural areas to get rid of poverty . The sector is significant from a nutritional point of view of, Because It Brings seafood to inland areas away from the sea Where consumption of seafood HAS-been traditionally low. [14]Even the arid Xinjiang produced 58,835 tons of fish in 2000, 85% of it from aquaculture. [16]

In recent times, China has extended its competences in the form of lakes, rivers, reservoirs and channels by incorporating cages, nets and pens. [14]

Fish farming in paddy fields is also developing. In 1996, paddy fish farming occupied 12.05 million hectares producing 376,800 tons. A further 16 million hectares of paddy fields are available for development. [14]

Species of the world are also being farmed, such as rainbow trout , tilapia , paddle fish, catfish toad, silver salmon , perch river, roach and collossoma brachypomum . [14]

Besides fish and crustaceans, turtles (primarily, the Chinese soft-shelled Turtle Pelodiscus sinensis ) have been extensively farmed since the 1980s and 1990s. Based on a 2002 survey of 684 turtle farms , which was estimated to be 300 million animals; they sold over 128 million turtles each year, with the total weight of about 93,000 tones, worth around US $ 750 million. Since these data are based on the average of all turtle farms registered with the appropriate regulating agencies (ie, 684 out of 1,499), it has been estimated that the overall herds and production amounts are at least twice as high. [17]

Marine aquaculture

Using current culture technologies, much of the cultivation of marine plants and animals can be applied within the 10 meter isobath in marine environments. There are about 1.33 million hectares of marine cultivable areas in China, including shallow seas, mudflats and bays . Before 1980, less than nine percent of these areas were cultivated, and were characterized by kelp, wash (Porphyra) and mussels . [14]

Between 1989 and 1996, areas of cultivated shallow sea were increased from 25,200 to 114,200 hectares, areas of mudflat from 266,800 to 533,100 hectares, and areas of bay from 131,300 to 174,800 hectares. The 1979 production was 415,900 tons on 117,000 hectares, and the 1996 production was 4.38 million tons on 822,000 hectares. [14]

Since the 1980s, the government HAS Encouraged the introduction of different marine species, Including the wide shrimp or prawn Penaeus chinensis , as well as scallop , mussel , sea bream , abalone , group , tilapia and the mangrove mud crab Scylla serrata . [14]

In 1989, production of farmed shrimp was 186,000 tons, and China was the largest producer in the world. In 1993 viral disease struck, and by 1996 production declined to 89,000 tonnes. This has been attributed to inadequate management and overfeeding and high stock densities. [14]

Over reporting

In 2001, the fisheries scientists Reg Watson and Daniel Pauly, concerned about the nature of the fishery. [18] [19] They said it appeared that the global wrestling since 1988 was 300,000 tons, which was 350,000 tons. Watson and Pauly suggest that this may be related to the growth of the economy. Also, until more recently, the promotion of Chinese officials is based on production of their own areas. [20] [21]

China disputed this claim. The official Xinhua News Agency quoted Yang Jian, director general of the Agriculture Ministry’s Bureau of Fisheries, as China’s figures Saying That Were “Basically okay.” [22] HOWEVER, the FAO accepted There Were issues with the reliability of China’s statistical returns, and for a period Treated data from China, Including the aquaculture data, apart from the rest of the world. [23] [24]

See also

  • Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences
  • Fishing industry in China


  1. Jump up^ FAO:Fishery and Aquaculture Profile for China
  2. ^ Jump up to:f FAO Factsheet: Aquaculture in China and Asia
  3. Jump up^ FAO report: China Responsible for Two-Thirds of World Aquaculture Production Archived2011-06-17 at theWayback Machine. –
  4. ^ Jump up to:b Parker R (2000) Aquaculture Science Page 6. Delmar Thomson Learning.
  5. ^ Jump up to:b History of aquaculture Archived 2008-07-19 at the Wayback Machine . Retrieved 2 August 2009.
  6. Jump up^ Nash CE and Novotny AJ (1995) Production of aquatic animals Page 22, Elsevier Science Ltd. ISBN 0-444-81950-9.
  7. Jump up^ FAO(1983) Freshwater aquaculture development in China Page 19, Fisheries technical paper 215, Rome. ISBN 92-5-101113-3.
  8. Jump up^ Fisheries of Americas Retrieved 2 August 2009.
  9. Jump up^ Ruǎn Jīnshān; Li Xiùzhū; Lín Kèbīng; Luō Dōnglián; Zhōu Chén; Cài Qīnghǎi (阮金山;李秀珠;林克冰;罗冬莲;周宸;蔡清海)安海湾南岸滩涂养殖贝类死亡原因(Analysis of the causes of death of farmed shellfish on the mudflats in the southern portion of Anhai Bay ), “福建 水产” (Fujian Aquaculture), 2005-04
  10. ^ Jump up to:c CAFS research achievement CAFS . Accessed 26 July 2011.
  11. ^ Jump up to:d FAO : National Aquaculture Sector Overview: China . Retrieved 2 August 2009.
  12. Jump up^ Chaudhuri H and Singh SB (1985)Induced breeding of Asiatic carpFAO: Project report: AC193 / E. Rome.
  13. Jump up^ Jian, Zhu; Jianxin, Wang; Yongsheng, Gong and Jiaxin, Chen (2005)”Carp Genetic Resources of China”pp. 26-38. In: David J Penman, Modadugu V Gupta and Madan M Dey (Eds.)Carp genetic resources for aquaculture in Asia, WorldFish Center, Technical report:65(1727). ISBN 978-983-2346-35-7.
  14. ^ Jump up to:j NOAA Central Library (1996) Aquaculture Industry
  15. Jump up^ People’s Republic of China: 1999 – 2003 AquacultureArchivedProduction2007-06-28 at theWayback Machine. – Pacific Rim Fisheries Program
  17. Jump up^ Shi, Haitao; Parham, James F; Fan, Zhiyong; Hong, Meiling; Yin, Feng (2008-01-01), “Evidence for the massive scale of turtle farming in China”, Oryx , Cambridge University Press, 42 , pp. 147-150, doi : 10.1017 / S0030605308000562 , retrieved 2009-12-26 Also at
  18. Jump up^ Watson, Reg; Pauly, Daniel (2001). “Systematic distortions in the world Fisheries catch trends” . Nature . 414 (6863): 534. doi : 10.1038 / 35107050 . Archived from the original on 2010-05-31.
  19. Jump up^ Pearson, Helen (2001). “China caught out as model shows net fall in fish” . Nature . 414 (6863): 477. doi : 10.1038 / 35107216 .
  20. Jump up^ Heilprin, John (2001)Chinese Misreporting Masks Dramatic Decline In Catcat Ocean Fish Associated Press, 29 November 2001.
  21. Jump up^ Reville, William (2002)Something fishy about the figures The Irish Times, 14 Mar 2002
  22. Jump up^ China dispute claim it over deferrals fish catch Associate Press, 17 December 2002.
  23. Jump up^ FAO(2006)The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOPHIA), Page 5.
  24. Jump up^ Fishery statistics: Reliability and policy implications

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