New Chinese Fish Farm Adds To the Growing Problem Of Overfishing

Deep Blue No 1 will be deployed in the Yellow Sea. Photo: Guancha.cn

Overfishing is one of the biggest concerns to the health of the ocean as more than 30 percent of the world’s fisheries have been pushed beyond their biological limits and are in need of strict management plans to restore them.

One of the biggest reasons for this is the growth of industrialized fishing and China is set to add to that. The Chinese company, Shandong Wanzefeng Fishery, is set to launch a massive, deep-sea salmon farming facility in the eastern province of Shandon to meet the country’s growing population.

According to state-run media, Xinhua, a fully submersible net cage called Deep Blue No 1, the world’s biggest, was delivered to the shipyard of state-owned Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry on Friday,

The 35-metre-high cage will be deployed in the Yellow Sea about 130 nautical miles east of Rizhao where the cold water is believed to be a suitable habitat for the fish.

Wang Yu, head of the Hubei Marine Engineering Equipment Research Institute, which designed the system, said the cage had a volume of 50,000 cubic metres and could generate a harvest of about 1,500 tonnes of salmon per season.

It is the first attempt to set up such an open sea farm in China and more could follow, with Xinhua estimating the Yellow Sea could support an industry of more than 100 billion yuan (US$15.7 billion).

Gathering as many fish as possible may seem like a profitable practice, but overfishing has serious consequences. The results not only affect the balance of life in the oceans, but also the social and economic well-being of the coastal communities who depend on fish for their way of life.

Billions of people rely on fish for protein, and fishing is the principal livelihood for millions of people around the world. However, increasing fishing efforts over the last 50 years as well as unsustainable fishing practices are pushing many fish stocks to the point of collapse.

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