Intensification, regulation and diversification: the changing face of inland aquaculture in China



Newton R, Zhang W, Xian Z, McAdam B & Little DC (2021) Intensification, regulation and diversification: the changing face of inland aquaculture in China. AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment, 50 (9), pp. 1739-1756.

Taking Hubei province, the largest carp producer in China, as a case study, surveys of trends in aquatic food consumption preferences were matched against farm production surveys and compared to official production data and statistics to gauge the current and future status of Chinese inland aquaculture. Surveys showed that consumer tastes were changing to a much broader aquatic food menu as their spending power increased. Traditional aquaculture species were becoming less profitable due to reduced profit margins as input costs increased and consumption preferences changed. Consequently, many producers were diversifying their production to meet local demand. Some farmers were also de-intensifying by reducing commercial aquafeed inputs and reverting to more traditional methods of dyke-crop culture to optimise trade-offs between input costs and labour, and manage their risk more effectively. In addition, analysis of local data showed wholesale changes were occurring to aquaculture production as environmental protection legislation took effect which reduced the growing area for carps considerably.

Aquaculture; China; diversification; Legislation; wet markets; consumption

AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment: Volume 50, Issue 9

Publication date30/09/2021
Publication date online05/03/2021
Date accepted by journal12/01/2021

People (2)


Professor Dave Little

Professor Dave Little

Professor, Institute of Aquaculture

Dr Richard Newton

Dr Richard Newton

Lecturer in Resilient Food Systems, Institute of Aquaculture