Chinese state corporation doubles-down on aquaculture tourism
A major state corporation has doubled down on mariculture with the launch of a new plan to build more offshore aquaculture platforms which combine as aquaculture facilities and tourist attractions.
Launched in 2020 by the Shandong Marine Group Ltd. off the coast of Yantai, the Geng Hai 1 has become a major base for tourist day trippers and entertainment as Chinese tourists remain effectively quarantined from making overseas trips due to ongoing restrictions made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The municipal government of Yantai, in China’s key aquaculture and seafood processing region of Shandong, recently stated that it wants to increase the number of similar platforms to 50 in the next three years. Whether the local manufacturing capacity exists to make that goal a reality is still unclear.
Built around three giant cages (each 40 meters in diameter) and a central covered viewing and dining platform, the platform charges visitors to take a boat from Yantai for fishing trips and entertainment aboard the Geng Hai.
A conglomerate involved in port and ship finance, as well as leasing and logistics, the Shandong Marine Group (also referred to as Shandong Ocean Group) is involved in several other projects in the mariculture space. It recently linked with two other state-run groups – a builder of offshore vessels and marine engineering equipment, Yantai CIMC Raffles Offshore Limited (CIMC Raffles), as well as the giant Guoxin Development Group. It is also working with several research institutions and universities to create an industry cluster producing equipment and seafood for domestic and export markets.
Photo courtesy of Shandong Marine Group