Zhanjiang Special

City makes great strides as seed industry center

By HAO NAN |  China Daily |  Updated:2023-07-13

Zhanjiang, a coastal city in Guangdong province, has been revving up efforts in recent years to improve seed selection, breeding and promotion of fine aquatic species.

It has also accelerated the industrialization of the seed industry, which serves as the foundation for the development of modern fisheries, local officials said.

With the help of the Zhanjiang Bay Laboratory and Guangdong Ocean University, the city has developed several leading seed bases of aquatic products in South China, and also established a number of related research institutions over the past few years.

The university took the lead in the establishment of a modern Pacific white shrimp seed industrial park, the first of its kind in China with a provincial-level status.

Official data showed that Zhanjiang cultivated a total of 162.2 billion aquatic seedlings in 2022. It has so far built 480 seedling farms, including two State-level shrimp breeding farms, one Pacific white shrimp genetic breeding center and 16 provincial-level aquaculture breeding farms, which account for 28 percent of the total in Guangdong.

The city is also home to China's largest mariculture base of Pacific white shrimp seed production and broodstock breeding. It is under a national high-tech development plan known as the 863 Program. The new species of Pacific white shrimp cultivated by the base have filled an industrial blank of China's shrimp seeds of the sector.

The base has now become a comprehensive research and development platform integrating seedling, aquatic feed, aquaculture and illness prevention, diagnosis and treatment. It breeds 100,000 pairs of broodstock shrimps and 8 billion seedlings annually.

Moreover, many local companies have also taken initiatives to contribute to China's Pacific white shrimp seedlings.

Haimao Seed Technology Group, a leading aquatic seedling production company in Zhanjiang, for example, has cooperated with the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, to tackle technological difficulties.

In 2010, they cultivated a new Pacific white shrimp species named Zhongke No 1 that features high disease resistance.

In 2022, Haimao developed another new species called Haimao No 1 and Zhanjiang Haixingnong Marine Biotechnology developed the Haixingnong No 3 shrimp species.

Also, the shrimp seed development center of Guangdong Havwii Aquaculture and a foreign expert team have jointly constructed a high-yield and specific pathogen-free Pacific white shrimp breeding center in Zhanjiang. It has currently developed 203 breeding groups and formed a quality seed selection and breeding system of the shrimp.

The city has also achieved remarkable results in improving the seed quality of other aquatic species. For instance, it has conquered artificial breeding technological problems of 66 aquatic species, including 41 seafood species, and imported quality aquaculture products like Pacific white shrimps, yellow tail fish and a species of bay scallops introduced from the Atlantic coast of the United States.

In June 2022, major breakthroughs were made in the key technology of yellow tail fish breeding, solving the long-standing problem of its dependency on wild seedlings.

Zhanjiang has also greatly enhanced the infrastructure construction for fine seed selection and breeding. It now annually cultivates 76 million grouper seedlings, 121 million Golden Pomfret seedlings, 2.2 million cobia seedlings, 170 billion Pacific white shrimp seedlings, and more than 1.6 billion scallop and other shellfish seedlings.



A golden pompano farming area in Zhanjiang. ZHANG FENGFENG/FOR CHINA DAILY

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