Fishing industry in China
Fishing industry in China
China has one-fifth of the world's population and accounts for one-third of the world's reported fish production as well as two-thirds of the world's reported aquaculture production.
It is also a major importer of seafood and the country's seafood market is estimated to grow to a market size worth US$53.5 Billion by 2027.
China's 2005 reported catch of wild fish, caught in rivers, lakes, and the sea, was 17.1 million tons, far ahead of the second-ranked nation, the United States, which reported 4.9 million tons. The Chinese commercial fishing fleet is responsible for more illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing than that of any other nation.
Aquaculture, the farming of fish in ponds, lakes and tanks, accounts for two-thirds of China's reported output. China's 2005 reported harvest was 32.4 million tons, more than 10 times that of the second-ranked nation, India, which reported 2.8 million tons.
The country's aquaculture market is forecasted to reach a projected market size of US$177.3 Billion by 2027.
The major aquaculture-producing regions are generally concentrated in the coastal regions, with Guangdong, Shandong, Fujian, Jiangsu and Hubei being the key aquaculture producing provinces in China.
China is also increasingly moving into offshore fish farms and has large scale salmon farms in the Yellow Sea as well as planning to build the world's first 100,000-tonne large-scale fish farming vessel by March 2022.
Since 2002, China has been the world 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 the main markets. In 2005, China was the sixth largest importer of fish and fish products in the world, with imports totaling US$4.0 billion.
In 2003, the global per capita consumption of fish was estimated at 16.5 kg, with Chinese consumption, based on her reported returns, at 25.8 kg.
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.
The Chinese fishing industry is the most heavily subsidized on earth.
It also has the highest share of harmful subsidies, subsidies which make it profitable to overfish depleted stocks, with $5.9 billion of such subsidies paid in 2018. This compares to harmful subsidies from Japan at $2.1 billion, the European Union at $2 billion, and the United States at $1.1 billion.
Most of these subsidies are fuel subsidies, which contribute to carbon emissions. In 2013 94% of Chinese fisheries subsidies were for fuel.
Inland China has 176,000 square km of inland waters (1.8 percent of the inland area). Eighty thousand reservoirs contribute another 20,000 km2.
China reputably has 709 freshwater fish species and 58 subspecies, with another 64 species migrating between sea and inland waters.
Carp are a commercially important species, particularly silver carp, bighead carp, black carp, grass carp, common carp and crucian carp. Other commercially important species are bream, reeves shad, eel, cat fish, rainbow trout, salmon, whitebait, mullet, Siniperca chuatsi, perch, sturgeon, murrel and pangolin. Commercial shellfish include freshwater shrimp and river crabs, molluscs include freshwater mussels, clams and freshwater snails. Aquatic plants are also harvested: lotus, water chestnut and the gorgon nut Euryale ferox. Other commercial species include the soft-shell turtle and the frog.
China inland fish production before 1963 came mainly from wild inland fisheries. Since then, wild inland fishery resources have decreased because of overfishing, dam building, land reclamation for agriculture, and industrial pollution. During the 1970s, the annual output of wild inland fisheries had dropped to 300,000 tons per year. In 1978, the government set up organizational structures to deal with these issues, and to stock fish fingerlings in rivers, lakes and reservoirs. This reversed many of the problems, and by 1996 production reached 1.76 million tons.
However, inland aquaculture has made even bigger gains, and now outstrips production from the wild inland fisheries.