On Sunday we spent the day in the city of Zhu Hai in Southern China. Zhu Hai is located on the Pearl River Delta. The Pearl River is a large river for aquaculture because it has a number of tributaries. Also because the river is in Southern China, there is a longer growing season for the fish.
In Zhu Hai our group learned more about the Chinese aquaculture industry, and discovered first-hand how fish gets to the dinner plate.
Our journey begins at the port, where the soybeans are imported that will be processed into fish feed. China is the world leader in aquaculture, making up about 60% of the world's aquaculture production.
Aquaculture is a growing industry for soybeans. Typically, fish feed will contain about 20-30% soy protein. The remainder is comprised of about 10% fish meal, and 60% of energy sources (corn, rice, wheat, DDG's, etc.).
Here's an example of how they feed on a typical aquaculture farm in China. We also learned that it's customary to provide room and board for the workers on the farm, and their housing is located there.
One of the farms we toured was specifically for shrimp. At this farm they do shrimp breeding, and also some research on feed conversion ratios.
Once the shrimp are sold from the farm, they are taken to an open air fish market in the city. Here, they are sorted by size and the heads are taken off.
After the shrimp is sorted, workers ice and pack the shrimp for transport.
The shrimp is then transported to restaurants where it will be cooked and prepared. In general, the Chinese only eat fresh fish. They do not buy it frozen or prepackaged in a store like we might in the US.