Development of fishing and aquaculture in ChinaChina’s production volume of fish and seafood increased tremendously over the last decades, from 4.5 million metric tons in 1980 to roughly 69 million tons in 2022. Since the second half of the 1990s, this growth has nearly exclusively been generated by aquaculture, while capture production of wild fish stabilized at around 13 to 15 million tons. The 14th Five Year Plan for Fishery Development published in January 2022 formulated goals for further improving aquaculture production in quantity and quality while reducing the wild catch volume from 13 million metric tons in 2020 to below 10 million metric tons until 2025.
Within China’s aquaculture industry, more than half of the animal production volume comes from inland waters, dominated by finfish. In contrast, marine aquaculture concentrates on the farming of mollusks, which makes China the largest producer of mollusks in the world. Contrary to production increases in aquaculture, China committed to reducing its wild capture volume and the number of fishing vessels. However, this pertains mainly to China’s own coastal and inland resources, while the fishing volume of China’s distant water fleet is planned to be kept stable at around 2.3 million metric tons annually.