China sets 69 million MT seafood production target for 2025, pledges more distant-water hubs

Published on
February 21, 2022
China is aiming to have its seafood production eclipse its output of pork under its 15th Five Year Plan, which sets out a plan for the country’s development between 2025 to 2030.

China is aiming to have its seafood production eclipse its output of pork under its 15th Five Year Plan, which sets out a plan for the country’s development between 2025 to 2030.

China’s five-year plans are indicators of where government priorities, in terms of policy and subsidies, will lie. The upcoming plan, currently being developed, sets an ambitious target for domestic seafood production.

Chinese seafood output – combining seafood raised via aquaculture and wild-caught seafood –will amount to 69 million metric tons (MT) in 2025, according to a document published by the State Council (often referred to as China’s cabinet) titled “Announcement of Modernization of Chinese Agriculture Under the 15th Five Year Plan.”

China’s overall seafood output rose from 64.5 million MT in 2017 to 65.4 million MT in 2020. China’s seafood production will total 65.7 million metric tons (MT) in 2021, and will increase to 66.1 million MT in 2022, according to Shenzhen-based research consultancy Zhong Shang Chan Ye Research Agency, which also trades as Ask CI Consulting.

The 15th Five Year Plan has seafood production at a higher level than the 55 million metric tons of pork production called for in the document. Pork is considered the bedrock protein of the Chinese diet, so its eclipsing by seafood has symbolic significance.

Published 11 February, 2022, the State Council document calls for more investments in distant-water fishery bases – a term to describe fishery ports and processing hubs being built by Chinese fishing firms in West Africa, Latin America, and Oceania.

The State Council’s document calls for stricter environmental measures in regard to dometic aquaculture, calling for strict planning in the “tidal flat protection system” – a reference to the sprawling aquaculture facilities that can be found up and down China’s coastline. There’s also a call to develop “comprehensive rice and fish farming,” “large-surface ecological fisheries,” and “saline-alkali aquaculture,” and a pledge to “optimize the layout of offshore green aquaculture,” a reference to domestic mariculture developments in the East China Sea and the South China Sea.

Photo courtesy of Danita Delimont/Shutterstock

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