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Fish Project In China Launched By AgriMarine

CHINA - AgriMarine, based in Canada, has launched a project for the production of high-value yellow croaker fish in China.

AgriMarine Holdings Inc., based in Vancouver, and the Zhoushan Fisheries Research Institute in the People's Republic of China (ZFRI), are pleased to announce a joint venture for a commercial scale research project for the rearing of yellow croaker in a closed containment system. The joint venture project is an important step for the Company as it advances its solid wall closed containment technology into other high value species in China.

Yellow croaker wild populations (called 'gold fish' in China) have declined since the 1970s and are now cultured in ocean net cages in the Fujian Province. These practices are contributing to pollution, disease and significant use of antibiotics, resulting in flesh quality issues. Previous research on the culture of yellow croaker using manufactured feeds has been conducted by the American Soya Association (ASA) in cooperation with the Ping Yang County Fisheries Bureau of Zhejiang Province. ASA will also provide advice on the feed formulation for the research conducted by AgriMarine and ZFRI.

The value of annual sales of farmed yellow croaker in China is over US$460 million, representing production of approximately 70,000 metric tonnes, having similar market size as the British Columbia salmon farming industry.

Director Luo of the ZFRI commented: "The successful rearing of yellow croaker in a sustainable closed system will address consumer demand for healthy fish with similar flesh quality features as wild stocks." This is the first project for the intense rearing of yellow croaker in closed containment in China, with waste removal for land disposal.

The juvenile fish have been transferred into the rearing facility and are expected to reach harvest size in approximately eight months. The fish reaching a minimum weight of 500g each will be sold in the Shanghai markets, which is less than four hours by surface transport from the rearing facility.

ZFRI is a government-held research and development institution, specialising in the laboratory culture of warm water species with potential commercial value. Under the terms of the joint venture, the ZFRI will provide husbandry expertise and the facility to house the technology provided by AgriMarine. The design and construction management was provided by AgriMarine's Canadian staff and advisors, with all equipment supplied by Chinese manufacturers. The parties have agreed to develop a full scale closed containment farming operation, based on the successful outcome of the commercial scale trials and market acceptance of the fish branded as sustainably raised in a closed containment system.

AgriMarine has developed and commercialised proprietary floating closed containment technology to produce salmon sustainably in its farms in Asia and North America. The technology can be applied worldwide for the rearing of other finfish such as trout, tuna and yellow croaker. AgriMarine's technology resolves many of the environmental issues created by present net cage rearing practices and meets consumer and retailer demands for sustainable aquaculture while protecting the environment.

the Fish Site Editor

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