First harvest of farmed salmon from mega ocean farm expected at next Chinese Lunar New Year
China’s first batch of farmed salmon will hit the market ahead of the Spring Festival, or Chinese Lunar New Year, next February, according to state media Xinhua.
The fish is from the “Shenlan 1,” the world’s largest fully-submersible fish cage, located about 130 miles east of Rizhao City in eastern China’s Shandong Province.
The operators take advantage of a cold water mass in the Yellow Sea to cultivate the deep-sea fish species.
The huge steel facility built by Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group CO., Ltd., a subsidiary of the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, is 35 meters tall, which is roughly as tall as an 11-story building. It measures 180 meters in width, allowing it to accommodate 300,000 salmon.
Since the salmon fry, the stage of growth where the salmon can swim out of gravel, were released into the cage in July, they have survived the harsh summer, according to the Rizhao Wanzefeng Fishing Co., Ltd. The first harvest can be expected at the beginning of the next year.
Chinese consumers have shown a growing appetite for fresh seafood.
“The China-developed fish farm in the cold water mass enables Chinese fishing firms to cultivate seafood with high economic value,” said Dong Shuanglin, former deputy head of the China Ocean University.
In addition to the submersible fish cage, Shandong has built 35 floating platforms for fish farming in the sea.
One of the platforms, the Yangguang 1, is equipped with ocean current power generation, sewage water treatment facilities and intelligent control system for making automatic fish farming management.
In 2007, the province’s reaped 210 billion yuan (30.2 billion U.S. dollars) in revenues from marine ranching, with more than 100,000 people employed in the industry.
China sees Southeast Asia and Africa as part of its “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) seafood initiative, with support in seawater cage aquaculture systems producing species like yellow croaker, grouper, cobia, and silver pomfret.
Chinese companies have invested USD 180 billion in overseas agriculture and fisheries across 140 countries up to 2016, according to Gu Wei Bing, a senior agriculture ministry official.
China has a target of increasing its aquaculture production by 15.4 million metric tons by 2025. China is also building a $2 billion fish farm in French Polynesia – its second-largest investment in the Pacific while providing Norway with giant-aquaculture infrastructure for fish farming.