Areas of Focus

China

China as a country consumes more seafood than the next 10 countries combined.

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China’s seafood production, consumption, aquaculture operations, and commercial fishing fleets are staggering in size.

  • 25% of the world’s commercial fishing capacity is Chinese
  • 35% of the world’s seafood (wild and farmed combined) comes from China
  • 5 million square miles, an area of Switzerland and Netherlands combined, are used for Chinese aquaculture production
  • China consumes more seafood than the next 10 countries combined

Despite the size of the Chinese seafood industry and the unique status seafood has in Chinese diet and economy—China is the world’s largest seafood trading country and home to the world’s largest wild seafood processing and re-exporting sector—the industry as a whole lags behind most North American and West European countries from a sustainability perspective. There is little consumer awareness or demand for sustainable seafood, government led fisheries reform often faces many barriers, there is a lack of Chinese organizations working towards seafood reform, and work to bring Chinese fisheries and aquaculture operations in line with internationally recognized best practices is few and far between.

Our work in China is focused around building a Chinese sustainable seafood movement.

This includes increasing consumer and business awareness regarding the fisheries crisis, bolstering in-country capacity and initiatives, exploring solutions towards more sustainable practices with government and industry leaders, and developing and implementing fishery and aquaculture improvement projects.

To most effectively accelerate sustainable seafood outcomes in China, and ensure those outcomes are durable, we work closely with Tao Ran, a Chinese-registered seafood consultancy. Tao Ran, founded with the support of O2, is our primary partner for our China work, and collaboratively we fund, design, test, and implement a variety of sustainable seafood initiatives across the region. These include, demonstration level conservation projects in key ecoregions to protect important spawning grounds, fishery and aquaculture improvement projects to instruct management policies, and engaging Chinese industry and other supply chain actors towards improved practices.

Without a significant, concerted, and locally-led push for reform, it’s likely overfishing, irresponsible aquaculture, and habitat loss and degradation in China will continue.

Japanese flying squid project participants O2, Tao Ran, and partners celebrate the launch of a new project at the China Fisheries and Seafood Expo in Qingdao. © Ocean Outcomes


O2 and Tao Ran Chinese Fishery Improvement Projects:


Stories from the Field: China


Meet Tao Ran

Qingdao Tao Ran Environmental Science and Technology Co. Ltd (Tao Ran) was established by former Ocean Outcomes China Program Director Songlin Wang in 2016. Tao Ran provides professional strategic planning and management services to organisations dedicated to the conservation and management of aquatic environmental resources. The firm works in partnership with fisheries, the aquaculture industry and nonprofits to move the Chinese seafood industry towards a sustainable future. In addition to fishery and aquaculture improvement partnerships with Ocean Outcomes, Tao Ran works closely with the Aquaculture Stewardship Council to grow the number of Chinese farms and species certified by ASC.