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Fisheries and aquaculture activities in China. (Photo: China Fishery Group/Hong En Aquaculture/FIS)

Fisheries sector continues to grow rapidly

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Wednesday, January 05, 2011, 22:10 (GMT + 9)

Over the past five years, the output of aquatic products has kept an annual growth rate of around 4 per cent with an apparently improved product mix and steadily raised quality and safety, which the Ministry of Agriculture believes has ensured effective and safe supply of these products.

It is expected that the total output may reach 53.50 million tonnes in 2010, the value of the total output could also top CNY 1200 billion (USD 180 billion), and per capita average income come up to CNY 8,963 (USD 1,353) with annual average growth rate of 8.8 per cent.

Incomplete statistics show that funds from the central government for fisheries in the Eleventh Five-Year Plan has increased by 700 per cent over the Tenth Five-Year Plan period that has totaled up to CNY 37 billion (USD 5.6 billion) with focus on subsidies for fishery policy enforcement, fishing harbours, preservation of resources, multiplication of improved breeds, and livelihoods of fishmen.

The Ministry also claims that Governments at all levels have given more attention to fishermens welfares through increasing subsidies for diesel for fishing vessels and fishery insurance premiums, ensuring subsistence allowances for poorer fishmen, and resettlement of fishermen on land.

The policy on diesel subsidies that the Eleventh Five-Year Plan has introduced has helped relieve the financial burden on fishermen imposed by a sharp increase in diesel prices. 

In the process of development, industries in this field have attached closer attention to improvement of quality and benefits as well as preservation and sustainable use of resources.

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The Chinese Government states that to this end, good practices of aquaculture have been introduced. All together, more than 10 million mu of fish ponds have been transformed; 17 aquatic genetics and breeding centre, 312 aquatic seedstock farms and 1771 standardized fishing demonstration farms/areas have been established, which has promoted rapid development of intensified fishing farming practices and raised the ratio of fishing farming and catching from 66:34 to 71:29.

The domestic fish catching sector has remained stable and in good order as a result of improved structure of fishing vessels. Deep-sea fishing has continued to improve its structure. As a result, the ratio of high seas fishery has increased from 46 to 58 per cent.

Processing capacity of aquatic products has been increased by over 30 per cent, and international standards on quality of processed products have been adopted step by step. Vigorously developed pet-fish-farming has become a new highlight in stimulating growth for the fishermens income and satisfying diversified consumer needs.

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For five consecutive years, the acceptance rate of aquatic products tested at producing places has been over 96 per cent along with steadily improved quality and safety, the Ministry of Agriculture believes.

The Real Right Law 2007 identifies the attribute of fish farming right and fishing right. In accordance with this law, the Ministry of Agriculture has issued and implemented the Measures for Licensing and Registration of Aquaculture in Waters and Shoals, organized work related to fishery planning of waters and shoals as well as licensing, carried out law enforcement on quality and safety of aquatic products and on fish faring.

Reform has been carried out in fishery statistics system. A network for collection of fishery basic information has been put in place, the commanding system of fishery policy enforcement and the national communication network of marine fishery safety have bee established and put into extensive use. 528 Vessels for fishery law enforcement have been built, bringing the total to 2287.

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