Forage fish supplies are limited and pressure on them is increasing, in large part due to China’s dominant demand for fishmeal for aquaculture feeds. Given the limited nature of global marine resources and aquaculture’s increasing share of fishmeal and fish oil consumption, understanding feed consumption trends in the Chinese aquaculture industry is essential to creating effective strategies for reducing the demand for reduction fishery products. However, there are serious concerns with both the availability and reliability of data coming from China, and better data are needed in order to make informed decisions regarding aquaculture development and feed use.
This project intends to bridge this knowledge gap and provide critical data on Chinese aquaculture to members of the scientific and conservation communities. The main goals of the project are to: 1) evaluate the reliability of Chinese aquaculture statistics and develop the appropriate corrections, 2) analyze trends and predict future feed use and production in China, and 3) identify common interests and effective pathways for engaging with the Chinese aquaculture industry on minimizing their environmental impacts. This project will focus on the use of aquafeeds, but relationships established through this work could be used to gain information on other aspects of Chinese aquaculture. Project goals will be met by collaborating with the Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy (CCAP), based in Beijing, to conduct surveys of households, aquaculture producers, and feed mills, and incorporating the data collected into the development of a trade model to predict China’s impact on global fishmeal demand, supply, and trade.