As China's squid catch soars, conservationists worry about scale of distant-water fleet

Chinese squid vessels fish in unregulated areas more so than any other country, worrying environmentalists about the fleet's continual growth
Fried squid skewers at a market in China
Fried squid skewers at a market in China | Photo courtesy of PENG TIANLI/Shutterstock
4 Min

A new report on the growth of China’s squid industry is predicting continued growth due to government support, investor appetite, and growing consumer demand.

The report, released by Guangzhou-based Heng Zhou Chengsi, also known as YH Research, notes government support through subsidies has led to investors backing several companies involved in tuna processing, including Ocean Family

The actions of municipal governments in several Chinese cities have led to a similar situation emerging in the squid sector, as they are competing vigorously, according to the report, to attract squid-processing operations. The governments of Zhoushan and Fuzhou in particular have offered subsidies to encourage fishing firms to transport their catch back home for processing, instead of shipping it abroad 

“The Chinese squid industry is now in the rapid growth phase; fishing volumes are rising fast, and the economic benefits are clear,” the YH Research report said.

Specifically, the Chinese squid fleet has gone from catching 30,000 metric tons (MT) in 1998 to nearly 1.1 million MT in 2022, aligning with global trends

Showcasing the growth in the squid industry at large, a 2021 study published in the journal Science Advances stated there has been a ...

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