Value-added products seen as path forward for tilapia in China
Domestic consumption of tilapia in China appears to be growing, according to the country’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), which is tasked with supervising the quality of Chinese seafood production.
Out of 1.7 million metric tons (MT) of tilapia produced in China in 2016, only 394 million MT were exported, according to AQSIQ. Meanwhile, the country’s tilapia exports rose a mere 0.43 percent year-on-year in 2016 and dropped 6.1 percent in value.
With the data showing that the country’s tilapia sector is already tilted toward the domestic-market, AQSIQ has developed a new blueprint designed to increase the domestic value of the species. The report recommends tilapia should be used more in sauces, oils and health products.
“Adding value through creating value added products and uses [for tilapia] is the way ahead,” suggested the AQSIQ in the report, published in the body’s journal, Guo Men Shi Bao.
The article also recommended the establishment of a national tilapia breeding program and seedlings bank in order to improve quality, as well as “multi-species” aquaculture as a means of reducing illness and use of antibiotics in the sector.