Aquaculture in China and its Role in Global Markets and Resources


open water aquaculture
Workers at an open-water fish farm in China
Photo credit: 
Max Troell


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Principal Investigator
Senior Fellow
  • William Wrigley Professor of Earth System Science
  • Senior Fellow, Stanford Woods Institute and Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
  • Senior Fellow and Founding Director, Center on Food Security and the Environment
Ling Cao
Affiliated scholar

Seafood plays a critical role in global food security and protein intake. The global supply of seafood increasingly comes from aquaculture - the farming of fish, shellfish, and aquatic plants. China is the dominant leader in this field, supplying about two-thirds of global aquaculture production. China also consumes an estimated one-third of global aquaculture output, a figure that is expected to increase as the country proceeds along its developmental trajectory.

This project builds on our recent field surveys in China (supported previously by the Packard Foundation), with two aims:

1) to finalize our analysis and publish peer-reviewed papers on China’s role in global aquaculture, seafood trade, and feed use; and

2) to convene researchers from around the world to advance the science around Chinese aquaculture from a food security perspective.

The anticipated output will be a set of unique and high profile papers on China’s rising role in this important area of global food production, trade, and food security. They would follow a prior set of papers by Naylor and colleagues on global aquaculture trends and impacts that have been published, for example, in Nature, Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).