China has a vast water area and its aquatic products are of great variety, large quantity and high exploitative value. China′s aquatic products can be divided into the following five categories: fish (most abundant), crustaceans, mollusks, algae and mammals. China has about 2,400 fish species of the world′s 3,000, marine fish, accounting for three-fifths; the rest are freshwater fish. The total volume of China′s aquatic products reached 12.18 million tons in 1990, ranking third in the world. In terms of region, China′s aquatic products can be divided into three parts: marine aquatic resources, offshore aquatic resources and inland aquatic resources.
Marine aquatic resources:
The production of marine aquatic resources constitutes 57.75 percent of the total, where fish play a dominant role. China has 1,700 species of marine fish -- 300 of which are economic?? fish and 60-70 are common ones of high yield. In addition, there are 2,000 species of coastal algae, 300 shrimps and crabs, and 200 economic mollusks.
Offshore aquatic resources:
In recent years China has distributed certain breeds of aquatic life in rivers and lakes, and constructed artificial lagoons in the inshore of the Baihai Sea, East Sea and South Sea area to increase the yield of aquatic life. This has achieved some effects. Currently, China has bred more than 60 species of fish, shrimp, shells and algae. The total aquatic products totaled 16,240 tons in 1990, ranking number one in the world.
Inland aquatic resources:
China is a country with one of the most advanced inland aquatics industries in the world. There are over 800 fish in the inland water area -- 40-50 of which are economic ones that account for 10 percent of the world′s total fish production. Shrimp, crabs and shells make up 3.2 percent of the total production of freshwater fishery. The top-four freshwater fish are the black carp, grass carp, silver carp and variegated carp. The carp, golden carp, bream, blunt-snout bream, marsh shrimp and freshwater mussels are of high economic value.