Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations


Image: S:\Country Profiles\master\en\CHN\PICS\FAOLOGO.GIF
December 2006


Organisation des Nations Unies pour l'alimentation et l'agriculture


Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y la Alimentación





9 596 960 km2

Water area:

4 700 000 km2

Shelf area:1

15 000 km2

Length of continental coastline:

18 000 km

Population (2005)

1.3 billion

GDP current:2

US$ 2,3 trillion

GDP per head (2005):

US$ 1 740

Agricultural GDP (2005):

13,1% of GDP

Fisheries GDP (2005):

US$ 45.9 billion

Fisheries data






Total supply

Per capita supply

tonne liveweight


Fish for direct human consumption

35 211 152

1 798 519

3 920 391

33 089 280


Fish for animal feed and other purposes

10 436 5083

4 001 2504

20 800

14 416 958


Estimated Employment (2004):5

 (i) Primary sector  (including aquaculture):

7.11 million

 (ii) Secondary sector:

800 000

Gross value of fisheries output (2004):

US$ 45.9 billion

Trade (2004):

 Value of fisheries imports:

US$ 3 125 631 000

 Value of fisheries exports:

US$ 6 636 839 000

Fishery sector structure

Overall fishery sector

Since 2000, China has had stable development of its fisheries industry. In 2004, its total aquatic output reached 47.5 million tonne, an increase of 7.5 million tonne from 1999. In total aquatic output, 16.89 million tonnes came from capture fisheries (35% of total) and 30.61 million tonne came from aquaculture (65% of total). Compared with 1999, the proportion of aquaculture output in total aquatic output increased by 7%. The net income of fishermen was US$ 660, an increase of US$ 119 from 1999, with an average annual increase of 3.7%. The quantity of fish products in international trade increased significantly: the value of imports plus exports increased from US$ 4.09 billion in 1999 to US$ 9.8 billion in 2004 .

Marine subsector

Catch profile

Marine fisheries sector is an important component of China’s fishing industry. In 2004, marine fisheries contributed 26.17 million tonnes of output, of which marine capture fisheries contributed 14.47 million tonne (including output from distant-water fisheries), almost half a million tonne lower than in 1999.

In 2004, the marine fishing fleet consisted of 279 937 motorized vessels, showing little change from 1999. The areas in which the vessels operated included the national jurisdiction of China and other areas under agreements between China and the relevant countries (including Japan, Republic of Korea and Viet Nam), as well as on the high seas. Total fleet power was 13.74 million kW.

More than 3 000 species of marine life are found along the coast, of which over 100 species are targeted in China. In 2004, the main harvested products were divided into six groups: finfish (9.88 million tonne); crustaceans (2.4 million tonne); cephalopods (1.14 million tonne); shellfish (850 000 tonne); seaweed (376 000 tonne); and other (205 000 tonne, including jellyfish).

In finfish caught in the Northwest Pacific, hairtail was the major catch, at 1.4 million tonne, followed by anchovy (1.1 million tonne), Japanese scad (620 000 tonne), chub mackerel (450 000 tonne)sea eel (320 000 tonne), small yellow croaker  (310 000 tonne), golden threadfin bream (310 000 tonne), black scrapers (200 000 tonne), Japanese pilchard (180 000 tonne), red porgy (150 000 tonne), silver croaker (110 000 tonne), large yellow croaker (89 000 tonne), yellow drum (75 000 tonne), elongate ilisha (95 000 tonne) and groupers (68 000 tonne).

In crustaceans, the output of akiami paste shrimp was the major product, at 670 000 tonne, followed by swimming crab (340 000 tonne), squillid (near 320 000 tonne) and cocktail shrimp  (near 300 000 tonne). In output of cephalopods, squid was the main catch (780 000 tonne, 220 000 tonne of which from distant fishing areas), followed by cuttlefish (180 000 tonne) and octopus (140 000 tonne). In 2004, China fisheries statistic recorded information on 44 species in marine capture fisheries, 16 species more than in 1999.

Among different sea areas in the Northwest Pacific, output from the East China Sea was greatest, at near 4.97 million tonne (34% of total marine capture catch). The output from South China Sea was second (3.6 million tonne, ca. 25% of total marine capture catch), followed by the Yellow Sea, yielding almost 22% of the total marine capture catch. Other areas yielded ca. 1.52 million tonne (11% of total) (including 1.45 million tonne from distant-water fishing). The output from Bohai Bay was 1.25 million tonne (8% of total).

In 2004, China had 88 distant-water fishing enterprises, with 1 996 vessels producing 2.42 million tonne/year in 2004 for a total value of near US$ 1.2 billion. The fishing grounds include the high seas of the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean, and the jurisdiction zones of 35 countries. Compared with 1999, output and value increased by 430 000 tonne and US$ 640 million, respectively, with tunas, squid and jack mackerel the main targets.

Landing sites

Among the coastal provinces, Zhejiang province  (3.22 million tonne) was most important in marine capture fisheries landings, representing nearly 22% of the total marine capture fisheries catch in 2004, followed by Shandong (2.7 million tonne; 19%), Fujian (2.23 million tonne; 15%), Guangdong (1.71 million tonne; 12%), Liaoning (1.49 million tonne; 10%), Hainan (990 000 tonne; 6.8%), Guangxi Autonomous Region (800 000 tonne; 5.5%), Jiangsu (590 000 tonne; 4%) and Hebei (310 000 tonne; 2.1%). The output from Tianjin and Shanghai were minor. In total output, the distant-water fisheries of China National Fisheries Corp contributed 290 000 tonne of catch, landing in ports of the cooperating countries.

Fishing production means

In 2004, the most common fishing gear used was the trawl net. In terms of production, trawlers accounted for 47.6% of catches, gill net accounted for near 17%, set-nets represented near 15%, lines and hooks took 6%, purse seines took 5.3%, and other fishing gear took 9%. Compared with 1999, the trawl catch was similar, but the proportion of gill net, lines and hooks and purse seines increased, while the proportion of set-nets and other fishing gear decreased. In particular, the proportion of other fishing gear decreased from 14.2% in 1999 to 9% in 2004.

Main resources

The catch in 2004 basically reflected the main fishery resources in the national jurisdiction of China, i.e. the main stocks were hairtail, anchovy, Japanese scad, sea eel, small yellow croaker, golden threadfin bream, black scrapers, Japanese pilchard, red porgy, silver croaker, large yellow croaker, yellow drumelongate ilisha, groupers, akiami paste shrimp, swimming crab, squillid, cocktail shrimp, cuttlefish and octopus. Moreover, Spanish mackerel, Pacific herring, mackerel scad, silvery pomfret, lizardfishflounder, abalone, shrimp, mud crab, sea cucumber and jellyfish were targeted species in marine capture fisheries.

Squid, hairtail, jack mackerel and tunas are main target stocks in the area outside Chinese national jurisdiction.

Management applied to main fisheries

China has the largest number of fishing vessels and fishers in the world, reflecting the use of extensive and spoliate fishing methods over a long period, and has resulted increasing decline of traditional high quality fishery resources and leading to catches comprising immature, small-sized and low value organisms, and fishing efficiency and economic benefit have obviously decreased. Therefore, the Government of China put forward a management objective of “zero growth” in coastal marine capture catch in 1999, and put forward a plan of “minus growth” in coastal marine capture catch in 2001. In order to achieve this, the Government of China in 2002 started a programme of reducing vessel numbers and relocating fishermen away from marine capture fisheries. By the end of 2004, the government had input nearly US$ 100 million, scrapped nearly 8000 vessels and relocated over 40 000 fishermen. In February 2006, the Government of China issued the Programme of Action on Conservation of Living Aquatic Resources of China, that provides that, by the year of 2010, the trend of deterioration of the aquatic environment, decline of fisheries resources and the increase in number of endangered species will be arrested, over-capacity will be reduced, and the efficiency of fishing operation and economic benefits will be increased. The size and power of the motorized marine fishing fleet and the corresponding domestic marine capture catch in China should be reduced from 220 000 vessels with a total power of 12.7 million kW and catching 13.06 million tonne in 2002, to 192 000 vessels, 11.43 million kW and a catch of around 12 million tonne.

Based on the above objectives, the fisheries authorities of China have also taken a number of management measures.

Fishermen communities

In 2004, there were 4060 marine fishery villages, 82 more than in 1999, and there were 3.32 million traditional fishermen in China’s marine fisheries. Fishery villages were mainly concentrated in Shandong (946), Guangong (896), Zhejiang (654), Fujian (522), Liaoning (410) and Hainan (290). Fujian province has the greatest number in terms of traditional fishermen (900 000), followed by Guangdong (660 000), Shandong (580 000), Zhejiang (380 000), Hainan (280 000and Liaoning (180 000).

Inland subsector

China has about 17.6 million ha of inland water area. There are 18 rivers with a length exceeding 1000 km, such as the Yangtze River, Yellow River, Heilongjiang River, Talimu River and Pearl River. Lakes with areas exceeding 100 000 ha include Qinghai Lake, Poyang Lake, Dongting Lake, Taihu Lake and Hulun Lake. In addition, there are 80 000 reservoirs, with a total area of about 2 million hectare. Natural capture represents the major activity of the traditional inland fisheries.

Catch profile

The output of inland capture fishery in 2004 was 2.42 million tonne, 140 000 tonne higher than that in 1999. In terms of catch composition in inland capture fishery, finfish formed 1.72 million tonne, followed by shellfish (340 000 tonne) and crustaceans  (310 000 tonne, comprising 270 000 tonne of prawn and 40 000 tonne of crab), taken from both lakes and rivers. No detailed information is available on species.

Landing sites

The province of Hubei remains the main one in inland capture catch, with near 400 000 tonne in 2004. Anhui province (360 000 tonne) is now number two, relegating Jiangsu province  (310 000 tonne) to third place. Jiangxi (230 000 tonne) and Hunan (170 000 tonne) remained numbers three and four. The biggest river in China, the Yangtze, flows through these provinces. In 2004, the inland capture fisheries catch of Guangdong province was 130 000 tonne. Other areas producing more than 100 000 tonne were Guangxi Autonomous Region (110 000 tonne) and Shandong province (100 000 tonne).

Fishing production means

No information was available to support an analysis.

Main resources

More than 700 species of freshwater fish and 60 species of marine freshwater migrating fish are found in inland waters. The major commercial species include silver carp, bighead carp, grass carp, black carp, common carp, crucian carp, Chinese breams, catfish, snakehead, mud carp, eel, pond smelt, salmon, trout, mullet, bass, Japanese lamprey, Chinese mitten-handed crab and soft-shell turtle.

Management applied to main fisheries

In order to effectively conserve fishery resources in the Yangtze River, protect reproduction of fish breed stocks and growth of juveniles, as well as protect biodiversity, the Government of China has imposed a close season for fishing from 2003. Closed areas include the main stream, branches of the Yangtze River, and Poyang and Dongting Lakes. The close period starts on 1 February and ends on 30 April in the area upstream of Gezhou Dam, and starts on 1 April and ends on 30 June in the area downstream of Gezhou Dam. In other important lakes and rivers of China, local government authorities also impose systems of close seasons or areas for fishing.

Fisheries laws and regulations of China also prohibit using electricity, poison, explosives and other harmful fishing gear and methods.

Fishermen communities

In 2004, the total number of fishery villages in inland fisheries was 4036, 221 more than in 1999, with 710 000 fishermen active in capture fisheries, over 10 000 fewer than in 1999. Shandong province (516) had the largest number of fishery villages in inland fisheries, followed by Liaoning (437), Hubei (420), Jiangsu (336), Jiangsi (324), Hunan (311), Shaanxi (241), Anhui (231), Henan (197) and Sichuan (180).

Recreational subsector

The recreational subsector is increasing as a new industry in China. By the end of 2004, there were 15 provinces in China that had recreational fishery pilot bases approved by provincial fishery and tourism authorities. The province of Shandong, Liaoning, Hebei and Zhejiang had almost 10 000 sites serving recreational fishery, with annual turnover of almost US$ 400 million.

Aquaculture subsector

In 2004, aquaculture covered 7.28 million hectare, 980 000 ha more than in 1999. Total output was 30.61 million tonne, 9.8 million tonne greater than in 1999.

Marine culture

In 2004, the national marine aquaculture area was 1.62 million hectare, 520 000 ha more than in 1999, consisting of 78 000 ha of fish culture (7000 ha more than in 1999), 320 000 ha of crustacean culture (up by 82 000 ha), 992 000 ha of shellfish (up by 281 000 ha), 92 000 ha of algae (up by 37 000 ha) and 135 000 ha of other (up by 115 000 ha).

Production profile

In 2004, marine culture output (including aquatic plants) reached 13.17 million tonne, 3.47 million tonne greater than in 1999. The output increase was mainly in shellfish (up by 2.32 million tonne; 67% of the total increment in marine culture output) and seaweed (up by 300 000 tonne; 8.7% increase).

In 2004, shellfish output was the highest, at 10.25 million tonne (77.82% of total marine aquaculture output). Starting from 1999, the proportion of shellfish in total marine aquaculture output has decreased: in 1999 it 81.75%, 81.10% in 2000, 80.53% in 2001, 79.57% in 2002 and 78.62% in 2003. Output of seaweed was the second greatest output, reaching almost 1.47 million tonne in 2004. These were followed by crustaceans (720 000 tonne), finfish (580 000 tonne) and others (150 000 tonne, including sea cucumber, sea urchin and jellyfish). The top 10 species harvested in marine culture were oysters (3.75 million tonne), clam (near 2.8 million tonne), scallop (910 000 tonne), kelp (800 000 tonne), mussel (717 000 tonne), razor clam (676 000 tonne), white-leg shrimp (Penaeus vannamei, 334 000 tonne), blood clams (323 000 tonne), Undaria (220 000 tonne) and mud crab (110 000 tonne). In marine cultured fish, output of seabass was the highest at 80 000 tonne, followed by large yellow croaker (67 000 tonne), flounder (57 000 tonne), seabream (46 000 tonne) and red fish (Sciaenops ocellatus, 43 000 tonne). Output of farmed groupers reached 33 000 tonne. In 2004, China’s fishery statistic provided separate information for 37 species in marine culture, 24 species more than in 1999, including 10 species of fish, 6 species of crustacean (besides white-leg shrimp and mud crab, and including giant tiger prawn, fleshy prawn, kuruma prawn and swimming crab), 9 species of shellfish, 8 species of seaweed and 4 other species.

Production sites

The number one province in marine culture output was Shandong in 2004 (almost 3.42 million tonne, 26.7% of total marine culture output), followed by Fujian (3 million tonne, 22.8%), Guangdong (2.1 million tonne, 16.9%), Liaoning (1.97 million tonne, 15%), Zhejiang (930 000 tonne, 7%), Guangxi Autonomous Region (860 000 tonne, 6.5%), Hebei (near 230 000 tonne, 1.7%) and Hainan (160 000 tonne, 1.2%). Output from Tianjin and Shanghai was minor.

Production means

Production in marine culture takes three forms: in the sea, on mud flats and land based, contributing respectively 51.3%, 39.5% and 9.2% of total output. For sea- and land-based marine culture, integrated farming method in the form of deepwater cages, common cages and industrialized farming played an important role, contributing over 300 000 tonne in 2004.



Inland Aquaculture


China has a long history of freshwater culture. Inland aquaculture occupies 5.664 million hectare, up 464 000 ha since 1999, with ponds accounting for 2.43 million hectare (42.9% of total inland culture area), reservoirs of 1.69 million hectare (29.8%), lake culture in 940 000 ha (16.6%), river culture of 380 000 ha (6.7%), and other culture areas using 227 000 ha (4%). In addition, there were 1.63 million hectare of paddy-cum-fish field areas not included in the total cultured area.

Production profile

In 2004, output of inland culture was 18.92 million tonne, an increase of 4.72 million tonne from 1999, with an average annual rate of increase of 5.5%. The proportion of inland culture in total cultured output in China was about 59% in 2004, a similar proportion to 1999.

The number of species with separate information in China’s fishery statistic increased from 12 in 1999 to 39 in 2004. In inland culture output, finfish contributed 17.21 million tonne, or 91% of total inland culture output. Crustaceans reached 1.22 million tonne (6.4%), with 190 000 tonne of shellfish, 4000 tonne of algae and 290 000 tonne of others (soft-shell turtle, frog, etc.).

The top ten species harvested in inland culture were grass carp (3.7 million tonne), silver carp (3.47 million tonne), common carp (2.37 million tonne), big head carp (2.08 million tonne), crucian carp (1.95 million tonne), tilapia (900 000 tonne), Chinese breams (520 000 tonne), Chinese river crab (420 000 tonne), white-leg shrimp (400 000 tonne) and black carp (300 000 tonne). Over 100 000 tonne of other species were recorded in 2004, including catfish, snakehead, eel, finless eel, mandarin fish, perch, Macrobrachium nipponensis and soft-shell turtle.

Production sites

In 2004, Guangdong had the highest output from inland culture in China (2.70 million tonne, 14.3%), followed by Hubei (2.63 million tonne, 13.9%), Jiangsu (2.27 million tonne, 12%), Hunan (1.49 million tonne, 7.9%), Anhui (1.36 million tonne, 7.2%), Jiangxi (1.33 million tonne, 7%), Shandong (960 000 tonne, 5%), Guangxi Autonomous Region (920 000 tonne, 4.8%), Sichuan (800 000 tonne, 4.2%) and Liaoning (520 000 tonne, 2.7%). All the other provinces (autonomous regions and cities directly under the jurisdiction of central government) had inland culture output.

Production means

Inland aquaculture exploits ponds, lakes, reservoirs, rivers, rice fields and other water areas. Pond culture was the main part of inland culture, with output reaching 13.31 million tonne (70% of total inland culture output), although slightly lower than 1999. Reservoir culture contributed 2.05 million tonne (11%). Lake culture yielded 1.15 million tonne (6.1%). Paddy-cum-fish contributed 1.02 million tonnerivers yielded 770 000 tonne and other water areas supplied 620 000 tonne. Integrated farming methods in the form of pen culture, cage culture and industrialized farming also played an important role, contributing over 1.17 million tonne of output in inland culture in 2004.

Post-harvest use

Fish utilization

In 2004, there were 8745 fish processing plants in China, 2302 more than in 1999. Total processed aquatic product amounted to 13.82 million tonne, 7.62 million tonne higher than in 1999, representing an average annual rate of increase of 20%. Processed aquatic products accounted for 28% of total output of aquatic products, 12.9% higher than in 1999. The processed aquatic products were mainly frozen products, at 5.99 million tonne (51.4% of total processed products). Processed seaweed was 447 000 tonne, sarumi and dried products was 1.70 million tonne, 144 000 tonne of canned products, 1.68 million tonne for animal protein feed (including 658 000 tonne of fishmeal), 23 000 tonne of fish oil, and 773 000 tonne of other processed aquatic products.

Fish markets

In domestic markets, trading and consumption of aquatic products were mainly concentrated in Liaoning, Shandong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Guangdong and other coastal provinces. In 2002, for example, these five provinces traded 13.15 million tonne of aquatic products, or 62% of total trading amount. Another 12 provinces (autonomous regions, or cities directly under the jurisdiction of central government) in the western part of China had 2.37 million tonne of trade (11.3% of total).

In international markets, the main markets for China’ aquatic products in 2004 were Japan (41% of total exported value), Republic of Korea (14%), United States of America (14%), EU countries (10%), Hong Kong SAR (8%) and ASEAN countries (5%). Among exported products, preliminary freeze products accounted for 52.4% of total exported value. The main exported species were farmed eel (US$ 860 million), shrimp (US$ 860 million), tilapia (US$ 160 million), large yellow croaker (US$ 140 million) and pearl (US$ 120 million).

Fishery sector performance

Economic role of fisheries in the national economy

The fisheries sector is an integral part of agriculture, and the sector is important for optimizing agriculture structure and increasing farmer income. In 2004, gross value of fisheries output reached US$ 45.9 billion, accounting for 10.5% of Agricultural GDP in China, an increase of 0.2% from 1999. Fisheries value accounted for 2.4% of the national economy in China in 2004.


China’s domestic markets show strong demand for aquatic products, and the price of aquatic products showed an upward trend. The consolidated price of aquatic products in 2004 was 20.2% higher than that in 2003, of which seafood showed a 13.2% increase and freshwater products showed a 29.2% increase.


Per capita supply of aquatic products was 25.8 kg/year in China in 2003. Aquatic products are important sources of animal protein.


In 2004, due to the strong demand for aquatic products in international markets, the value of aquatic products in international trade (export + import) was close to US$ 10 billion for the first time, reaching US$ 9.8 billion. Exported quantity reached 2.42 million tonne, worth US$ 6.64 billion. Imports reached 2.99 million tonne with a value of US$ 3.13 billion, representing 11.7% of total foreign trade surplus in China. Exported aquatic products took first place in exported agriculture products, accounting for 30% of total exported agriculture products in value terms.

Food security

In 2004, the fisheries sector in China provided 35.21 million tonne of aquatic products for direct human consumption, and 10.44 million tonne for animal feed or feed in aquaculture.


In 2004, the livelihood of 20.98 million people in China relied on fisheries. The labour force engaged in fishery amounted to 13.02 million persons (with 5.9 million part-time workers). Among the full-time workers, 7.11 million persons were engaged in the primary sector (including aquaculture), and 800 000 were active in the secondary sector. In the primary sector, some 1.83  million persons were engaged in capture fisheries, 4.49 million in aquaculture, and 794 000 classified as unspecified.

Rural development

The benefits obtained from the fisheries sector are relatively higher than other sectors of agriculture. In 2004, fishermen’s net annual income was US$ 660 per person, higher than the US$ 355 of farmer’s net annual income per person. Compared with 1999, the number of people deriving their livelihood from fisheries increased by 2.64 million, with an average annual rate of increase of 2.4%, higher than the natural growth rate of the population (estimated at 1%). Among full-time workers, the number in capture fisheries was almost the same as in 1999, while employment in aquaculture increased by 920 000. Development of fisheries, in particular aquaculture development, has attracted more people to stay in rural areas, and has had a positive effect on rural development.

Fishery sector development


Fisheries development in China faces some conflicts and problems. The first problem is that the task for fisheries resources and environment protection is very hard; the second problem is that fishermen’s rights and interests are increasingly violated, with the social stabilization of fisheries regions affected due to diverting to other uses the rights for water areas and mud flats of fishermen.

A third problem is that aquaculture diseases have led to significant losses. It has been estimated that aquaculture disease resulted in about US$ 1.2 billion of economic loss in recent years. Promoting healthy aquaculture production technology would decrease the huge economic loss, and could further increase aquaculture output.

Development prospects and strategies

In February 2006, the Government of China issued a Programme of Action on Conservation of Living Aquatic Resources of China, that provides short-term development prospects toward 2010. It aims to reverse the trend of deterioration of the aquatic environment, decline of fisheries resources and the increasing number of endangered species, reduce overcapacity, and improve the efficiency of fishing operation and economic benefits. The motorized fleet will be reduced from 222 000 to 192 000, fleet power will contract from 12.7 million kW to11.43 million kW, and the catch will fall from 13.06 million tonne in 2002 to 12 million tonne. Stock will be enhanced through the release of 20 billion fry annually of key fishery species. The number of natural reserves for living aquatic resources above provincial level should increase to over 100. Meanwhile, the Programme provides medium-term objectives, i.e. by 2020, for gradual rehabilitation of the aquatic environment, decline in fisheries resources will be reversed and endangered species will not increase. Fishing capacity and catch from marine capture fisheries should generally match the capacity of fishery resources. The fleet will be further reduced (to 160 000 vessels with total power of 10 million kW), catch reduced (to 10 million tonne) and re-stocking enhanced (by release of 40 billion fry annually). The number of nature reserves for living aquatic resources above provincial level should increase to over 200.

In the aquaculture subsector, the Programme provides that it should positively promote regional integrated development that gives priority to construction of marine pasture, and to establish pilot areas of marine pasture, taking artificial reefs as carriers and with stock enhancement through bottom seeding as means of enhancing and restocking. There will be a drive to develop recreational fisheries and other industries to increase employment opportunities and income of fishermen and improve the economy of fishery communities. The Programme also provides that technical criteria for aquaculture in relation to environment should be established and implemented, with better monitoring and management. It should adjust layout of aquaculture rationally, set culture density scientifically and optimize the production structure in aquaculture in accordance with environmental capacity. It should carry out systems of fish farming using water quality inspection, environmental monitoring and control, evaluation and approval of fish drug production and input quality controls. Monitoring will be strengthened of aquatic fry and fingerling production, and introduce scientific feeding, fertilizing and reasonable drug use, to ensure quality and safety of aquatic products. It should positively explore eco-farming models that combine traditional and modern ways, establish healthy culture and eco-farming pilot areas, positively extend healthy culture and eco-farming technology, and mitigate pollution from aquaculture.

In the field of management of responsible fishing, the Programme proposes a system of catch limits allocated in an equitable, fair and transparent manner, and it should positively explore the effective mechanism and approach of transferable quota. It should strictly control construction, renewal and rebuilding, purchase and importation of fishing vessels, as well as the number of fishing permits issued. It should strengthen effective control and management of fishing vessels, fishing gear and other production elements, and reinforce the technical inspection of fishing vessels and the scrapping system.


China Academy of Fisheries Science is directly under the management of the Ministry of Agriculture. The following institutes are under control of the Academy: Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute; East China Sea Fisheries Research Institute; South China Sea Fisheries Research Institute; Fisheries Research Institute of Heilongjiang River; Yangtze River Fisheries Research Institute; Pearl River Fisheries Research Institute; Freshwater Fisheries Research Centre; Fisheries Machine Research Institute; and Fisheries Engineering Research Institute. Furthermore, each province (autonomous region or city directly under the jurisdiction of central government) has its own fisheries research institute.

There were 13 514 fisheries technical extension services nationwide in 2004, 10 000 more than in 1999.

In 2004, fisheries research institute projects included: research on fine variety and seed of Yangtze River reproduction technology; anti-typhoon deepwater cage integrated faming technology demonstration; establishment of healthy aquaculture safety management system; research on key technology of famous fish of Yangtze River artificial reproduction; and investigation and research on main fishing gear and fishing methods in marine capture fisheries.


Besides Shanghai Fisheries University, Fisheries College of Qingdao Ocean University, Fisheries College of Jimei University, Dalian Fisheries College, and Fisheries College of Zhanjiang Ocean University, there are 21 agriculture colleges or comprehensive universities with fisheries-related courses in their curricula, located from coastal to inland provinces (autonomous regions).

Additionally, a number of provinces (autonomous regions and cities directly under the jurisdiction of central government) have fisheries schools.

Foreign aid

China had no foreign aid fishery project in 2004.

Fishery sector institutions

The fisheries administration system in China is constituted by the Bureau of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture, as top administration, and each local fisheries authority of provincial or municipal level as basic institutes. The fisheries administrations of each level are responsible for implementation of the fisheries law and regulations. Bureau of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture, is also called Bureau of Fisheries Management and Fishing Port Superintendence, People’s Republic of China. As the subsidiary bodies and branches of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries Law Enforcement Command of China is in charge of the coordination of fisheries law enforcement, while Fisheries Management and Fishing Port Superintendence Bureau of each regional sea (Yellow Sea and Bohai Bay, East China Sea, South China Sea) is in charge of its regional fisheries law enforcement. Bureau of Fishing Vessel Inspection, Ministry of Agriculture, is responsible for the legal technical inspection of fishing vessels. There are local fisheries administrations established in every province, major fishery cities and counties that are under the supervision of local governments. Moreover, there are fisheries law enforcement agencies or fisheries resource management commissions in large inland water areas and major ports. Fisheries environment monitoring stations in major seas and inland water areas exist throughout the country.

Other organizations and institutes involved in or related to fisheries management include: China Fisheries Society, China Fisheries Association, China Fishing Vessel Owners Insurance Association, National Centre for Fisheries Technical Extension, Fisheries Technical Extension Agency of each province, city and autonomous region, China Fisheries Products Marketing and Processing Association, and fisheries scientific research and education institutes.

The followings are the Internet links of the national fisheries administrative and research institutions:

Bureau of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture: http//;

Fisheries Management and Fishing Port Superintendence Bureau of Yellow Sea and Bohai Bay: http//

Fisheries Management and Fishing Port Superintendence Bureau of East China Sea: http//

Fisheries Management and Fishing Port Superintendence Bureau of South China Sea: http//

China Academy of Fisheries Science: http//

Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute: http//

East China Sea Fisheries Research Institute: http//

South China Sea Fisheries Research Institute: http//

Yangtze River Fisheries Research Institute: http//

Pearl River Fisheries Research Institute: http//

Freshwater Fisheries Research Centre: http//

Fishery Machine Research Institute: http//

General legal framework

The Fisheries Law of the People’s Republic of China was amended in October 2000, and entered into force on 1 December 2000. Reflecting the changing international regime of the sea and changing trends in fisheries resources, the new law adjusts management scope and stipulates catch limit control systems. In aquaculture, the law stipulates that units or individuals who wish to use designated areas must apply for an aquaculture permit through the competent fisheries administration at or above the county level, and the aquaculture permit will be granted by the people's government at the same level to allow use of the area for aquaculture activities.

The Regulation for Living Resources Conservation in Bohai Bay entered into force on 1 May 2004. The regulation stipulates clearly requirements for capture fisheries, aquaculture, stock enhancement and protection of fishery water environment in Bohai Bay.

The Regulation of Fishing Vessel Inspection, People’s Republic of China entered into force on 1 August 2003. The regulation stipulates inspection of fishing vessels.

The Notification of Implementing Close Season for Fishing in Yangtze River establishes close seasons for fishing in Yangtze River from 2003.

The Regulation of Capture Fisheries Permit Management entered into force on 23 August 2002.

The Management Method of Fisheries Fry and Fingerling entered into force on 8 December 2001, replaced the earlier Act of the same name issued in June. The new method stipulates fisheries fry and fingerling protection, variety selection, production and management of import and export.


Estimate based on Chinese Fisheries (FAO, October 1992). No legal significance attaches to this assumption.


World Bank Statistics


The quantity of animal protein feed processing was 1.68 million tonne, which when converted into live weight was 8.42 million tonne. In addition, it was estimated that 4 million tonne of trash fish were directly used as feed in aquaculture.


Products for re-exportation and fish meal.


About 5.9 million part-time fishers not included.