Ben Oostdam story # 501 - selected sections only from FAO's:


China's continental shelf covers 431,000 km² 
Coastline: 14,500 km 
EEZ area: 877,019 sq km 
Lake area: 196,000 sq km (incl reservoirs) 
River area: 74,550 sq km 
Land area: 9,326,410 sq km 
Employment: 7.9 million persons (2004)[1] 
Fishing fleet: 220,000 motorised vessels[1]
25,600 vessels greater than 100 gt (2002)
Total fleet power 12.7 million kW[1] 
Consumption: 25.8 kg fish per capita (2003) 
Fisheries GDP: US$ 45.9 billion (2004)[1] 
Export value: US$ 6.6 billion (2004)[1] 
Import value: US$ 3.1 billion (2004)[1] 
Harvest (2004 unless otherwise stated) 
Wild marine: 14.5 million tonnes[1] 
Wild inland marine: 2.4 million tonnes[1] 
Wild total: 19.9 million tonnes 
Aquaculture total: 32.4 million tonnes (2005) 
Fish total: 49.5 million tonnes (2005) 

China, with one-fifth of the world's population, accounts
for one-third of the world's reported fish production and
two-thirds of the worlds reported aquaculture production.
Aquaculture, the farming of fish in ponds, lakes and tanks,
accounts for two-thirds of China's reported output.
China's 2005 reported harvest was 32.4 million tonnes,
more than 10 times that of the second-ranked nation,
India, which reported 2.8 million tonnes.
China's 2005 reported catch of wild fish, caught in rivers,
lakes, and the sea, was 17.1 million tonnes, far ahead of
the second-ranked nation,the United States, which reported
4.9 million tonnes.
The principal aquaculture-producing regions are close to
urban markets in middle and lower Yangtze valley and the Zhu Jiang delta.

Since 2002, China has been the world's largest exporter
of fish and fish products.
In 2005, exports, including aquatic plants, were valued 
at US$7.7 billion, with Japan, the United States and
the Republic of Korea as the main markets.
In 2005, China was sixth largest importer of fish and
fish products in the world, with imports totalling
US$4.0 billion.[2]

In 2003, the global per capita consumption of fish
was estimated at 16.5 kg, with Chinese consumption,
based on her reported returns, at 25.8 kg.[2]

In 1989, production of farmed shrimp was 186,000 tonnes,
and China was the largest producer in the world.
In 1993 viral disease struck, and by 1996 production
declined to 89,000 tonnes.
This was attributed to inadequate management such 
as overfeeding and high stock densities.[13]

Distant fisheries
The world's EEZs are shown as a white extension of the land.
International waters (high seas) are highlighted in blue.
Chinese distant water fishing activities started in 1985
when China gained access to new fishing grounds through 
agreements with foreign countries.
By 1996, these fisheries had extended to 60 regions
around the world, employing 21,200 fishermen,
1381 fishing vessels, and caught 926,500 tonnes.[6]
The China National Fishery Corporation (CNFC)
is the major operator in the distant water fisheries.
It sent the first Chinese fishing fleet to West African
waters in 1985. The following year, with other Chinese
partners, CNFC started trawling operations in the
North Pacific. Tuna longlining followed in the
South Pacific, and in 1989, squid longlining in the
Japan Sea and the North Pacific.[6]

In 1999, China set an objective of “zero growth” in
coastal marine capture catch, and in 2001 changed
the objective to “minus growth”.
To achieve this, China has been reducing vessel
numbers and relocating fishermen away from marine
capture fisheries.
By the end of 2004, 8,000 vessels were scrapped 
and 40,000 fishermen were relocated.
In 2006, China issued the Programme of Action
on Conservation of Living Aquatic Resources of China.
This provides that, by 2010, deterioration of the
aquatic environment, declines in fisheries
resources and increases in endangered species
will be arrested, over-capacity will be reduced,
and efficiencies will be increased.[1]

2010 marine fishery targets[1] 
                       2002                  2010 
fishing vessels       220,000               192,000 
Fishing fleet power  12.70 million kW    11.43 million kW 
Marine catch         13.06 million tonne 12 million tonne. 

The fisheries authorities of China have adopted the
following fishery management methods:

Season moratorium: Since 1994, China has been 
imposing a hot season moratorium in the Yellow Sea 
and the East China Sea. This moratorium affects
120,000 fishing vessels and one million fishermen.
During this period, trawling and sailing stake net
fishing are banned, and set nets are closed for
at least two months in all marine areas. 
From 2004, all fishing operations,
except use of gillnets with mesh size over 90 mm,
are banned in Bohai Bay between 16 June and 1 September.[1]
Input controls: China uses input control as a
major strategy. Regulation of Capture Fisheries Permit
Management, issued in 2002, requires fisheries
authorities in China to control the overall fishing
capacity through target limits for vessels and gear,
as well as through the issue of fishing permits.[1]
Output controls: These include regulation
governing the allowed proportion of undersized fish
in catch.[1]

[edit] Over reporting
In 2001, the fisheries scientists Reg Watson and
Daniel Pauly expressed concerns in a letter to Nature,
that China was over reporting its catch from wild
fisheries in the 1990s.[7][8]
They said that made it appear that the global catch
since 1988 was increasing annually by 300,000 tonnes,
whereas it was really shrinking annually by 350,000
tonnes. Watson and Pauly suggested this may be
related to China policies where state entities that
monitor the economy are also tasked with increasing
output. Also, until recently, the promotion of
Chinese officials was based on production increases 
rom their own areas.[9][10]

China disputes this claim.
The official Xinhua News Agency quoted Yang Jian,
director general of the Agriculture Ministry's 
Bureau of Fisheries, as saying that China's figures
were "basically correct".[11] However, the FAO
accepts there are issues about the reliability
of China's statistical returns, and currently
treats data from China apart from the rest
of the world.[12]
Main article: Aquaculture in China
Aquaculture has been used in China since circa 3500 BC.
When the waters lowered after river floods,
some fishes, mainly carp, were held in artificial ponds.
Their brood were later fed using nymphs and silkworm
feces, while the fish themselves were eaten as
a source of protein. By a fortunate genetic mutation,
this early domestication of carp led to the
development of goldfish in the Tang Dynasty.

Cyprinus carpio is the number one fish of aquaculture.
The annual tonnage of common carp, not to mention
the other cyprinids, produced in China exceeds
the weight of all other fish, such as trout and salmon,
produced by aquaculture world wide.

Since the 1970s, the reform policies have resulted
in the rapid development of China’s aquaculture,
both in fresh and in sea waters. 
Total aquaculture areas rose from 2.86 
million hectars in 1979 to 5.68 million hectars in 1996,
and the production rose from 1.23 million tonnes to
15.31 million tonnes.[13]

In 2005, worldwide aquaculture production including
aquatic plants was worth US$78.4 billion.
Of this, the Chinese production was worth 
US$ 39.8 billion. In the same year there were about
12 million fish farmers worldwide.
Of these, China reported 4.5 million employed
full time in aquaculture.[2]
Top 10 species grown in China in 2005 :

Species                 Tonnes[2] 
Japanese kelp           4 314 000 
Grass carp              3 857 000 
Pacific cupped oyster   3 826 000 
Silver carp             3 525 000 
Japanese carpet shell   2 857 000 
Common carp             2 475 000 
Wakame                  2 395 000 
Bighead carp            2 182 000 
Crucian carp            2 083 000 
Yesso scallop           1 036 000 
(1) = FAO FAD Country Profiles: China
(2) = FAO Wikipedia

CHina's Fishing Fleet sets challenge to US by Lyle Goldstein, Asia Times Aug.7, 2009 BLO selected and copied it 20090822 - stories