Aquaculture for all

Chinese Tilapia Farming Improvement Project Work Praised

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CHINA - The Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) is pleased to announce a new public report is available on a landmark aquaculture improvement project (AIP) in Hainan, China, that embodies the ideal situation SFP strives to see in all aquaculture sectors: A zonal aquaculture approach maintained by industry stakeholders.

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The project, now maintained by the industry, takes a holistic approach to aquaculture, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that even competing fish farms can share a common waterway without impacting each other, or the environment.

In addition to Chinese companies, US-based buyer The Fishin’ Co. is also involved with the project.

The AIP is directly responsible for China’s first industry-led set of standards for tilapia farming. These ground-breaking standards include a strong focus on improved disease management, both on-farm and between neighbors.

“This AIP is the best example of a zonal AIP in the world and also one that has strongly transitioned from SFP to industry-led, with support of a local NGO (China Blue), an international buyer (Fishin’ Co.) and many key local industry leaders,” said Anton Immink, SFP’s aquaculture director.

The project officially began in 2011, with SFP working with producers in Hainan to find ways to make their operations more sustainable.

A year later, SFP hosted its first successful aquaculture policy roundtable, with key processors, farmers and seed and feed producers in attendance.

Together, they established Hainan Tilapia Sustainability Alliance, which continued the improvement project work in the sector, with a stronger and stronger role in maintaining the AIP.

Just last year, the Alliance issued the first version of its Code of Good Practices (CoGP) for Hainan Tilapia Farming, with technical assistance from the Pearl River Institute of Aquaculture and Hainan University.

Today, 35 pilot farms are in the process of adopting the code, with technicians working with farmers on site. It is the first-ever regional and industry-led initiative in China to promote sustainable aquaculture practices.

“Han Han, the CEO of the new China Blue and former SFP staffer, has taken lessons from the Scottish salmon industry and other leaders to help steer the industry on a course towards true sustainability,” Immink added.

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