Mega-salmon farm in the cold waters of the Yellow Sea to feed China’s growing appetite for fresh seafood.
China will launch a mega-salmon farm in the cold waters of the Yellow Sea to feed its growing appetite for fresh seafood.
The deep sea farm, about 130 nautical miles off the shore of Rizhao in east China’s Shandong Province, aims to produce 45,000 tonnes of salmon annually.
Initiated by the university and two Chinese firms, the project involves a total investment of over US$642 million and has demarcated a cultivation area of 3,000 hectares, which is equivalent to more than seven Stanley Parks.
Dong Shuanglin, a professor at the Ocean University of China and the project’s chief scientist told State Media Xinhua the project will also include the construction of an onshore industrial park, R&D facilities and a fry cultivation base. The first batch of salmon from the farm is scheduled to hit the market by the end of 2020.
The “Shenlan 2” salmon cage, which will be erected in the second half of this year, follows the successful trial of salmon farming at “Shenlan 1,” the world’s largest fully-submersible fish cage.
The “Shenlan 2” cage is 80 meters tall, compared with the 35 meters of “Shenlan 1,” and can accommodate 1 million fish, a large increase from its predecessor’s 300,000, according to Dong.
Chinese scientists have in recent years started to test rearing salmon in the Yellow Sea’s cold water mass, a seasonal low-temperature water body, as the country’s offshore fish farming faces a lack of space, disease outbreaks and other environmental problems.
The 13-million-hectare cold water mass in the Yellow Sea is large enough to raise 500 million salmon, and its strong self-purification means lower risks of diseases and parasite outbreaks, according to the university.
Salmon farming in that sea area is also expected to herald a new trend in China’s marine aquaculture following seaweed, shrimp, shellfish, fish and sea cucumber, while offering a platform for cooperation with countries like Norway and Japan in farm management, diseases and parasites control, reported Xinhua.
SeaWestNews had earlier reported that China’s aquaculture output exceeded 50 million tonnes in 2018, accounting for over 78 percent of the country’s total aquatic products output.
China is the second largest market, after the United States, for BC’s farm-raised salmon.
Farm-raised salmon is B.C.’s highest valued seafood product, the province’s top agricultural export, and generates over $1.5-billion towards the B.C. economy, resulting in over 6,600 jobs.