China’s top fishery region claims increase in 2013
One of China’s leading seafood production regions is reporting robust growth in 2013 output.
Fishery authorities in Guangdong province claim output of aquatic products rose by 7.3 percent to CNY 101 billion (USD 16.7 billion, EUR 12.3 billion) while the value of the “fisheries economy” rose 8.37 percent to CNY 215 billion (USD 35.5 billion, EUR 26.1 billion). Guangdong is home to China’s top shrimp processor and exporter, Zhanjiang Guolian Aquatic — as well as numerous tilapia exporters.
In volume terms aquatic output rose 4.1 percent year-over-year to 8.1 million metric tons (MT) in Guangdong, which ranks as one of China’s top three fisheries production and processing regions. This output figure doesn’t include the catch recorded by the province’s long-distance fishing fleet. However the province has marked out the so-called high seas fleet as key to the future growth of local seafood output.
While Guangdong ranks, along with Hainan, as a top two tilapia-producing region, provincial officials want to subsidize more vessels to increase the wild catch. The provincial fisheries bureau has set an ambitious target of 4.6 billion MT of aquatic products by 2015. Yet the bureau, in a statement posted on its website, says that while total area for aquaculture will remain constant at 210,000 hectares, Guangdong plans to double its long-distance fishing fleet to 300 vessels by 2015.
A shift to the seas is also apparent in the plans of another key seafood production region, Shandong. Officials in the province, home to key aquaculture and processing hubs like Qingdao and Yantai, are plotting a rapid expansion in 2014 in the overseas catch being funneled into local processors.
Shandong will aim for “breakthrough” in overseas catches while also developing “sea granaries” at home — a reference to plans to develop offshore aquaculture, according to the director of the provincial Ocean & Fisheries department Wang Shuxin. The director also pledged to extend official certificates to individual aquaculture farmers that will improve their access to bank loans. Access to credit has been a problem for China’s smallholders and privately owned seafood processors due to a lack of certifiable collateral acceptable to state-owned banks. In a statement to SeafoodSource by his office, Wang pointed to the policy documents of the Chinese Communist Party that calls for development of the ocean economy and elimination of rural poverty.