China aquaculture academic criticizes lack of progress on genetic improvements, mariculture

Published on
September 8, 2017

China's ambitious plans to expand its mariculture production increasingly hinge on the government’s ability to secure access to large tracts of coastline, according to a leading local aquaculture researcher. 

“They want to secure a whole bay…in order to have a full zonal approach, but this is difficult because there are so many competing users of the coast,” Professor KH Chu, an expert in aquaculture at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said at Seafood Expo Global on 6 September.

Chu has published extensively on what he terms the “global seafood gap”: mariculture, he believes, is key to meeting a supply crunch driven by rising Chinese demand. 

A lack of progress on genetic improvements, compared to the livestock sector, continues to hinder expansion of seafood production, Chu said. He did, however, point to significant progress in the replacement of fishmeal with oilseed-based feed, both in China and elsewhere.

Chu said he expects to see scientific advancement in aquaculture integrated with biofuel production, as well as an ecosystem-based approach to aquaculture. Another development to dictate future output, Chu said, is integration of fisheries and aquaculture.  

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