Sunday, March 04, 2012

Sustainable salmon farming in China

Great news from China, the Holy Grail of salmon farming is becomming real. Good news so long as it doesn't replace carp as a Chinese staple.

A new salmon farm in China will grow fish in closed tanks on land, eliminating most environmental concerns about salmon farming. From a pay-only story on

"Production levels at AgriMarine Holdings' closed-containment salmon farms in China are not yet high enough to fill orders from China’s supermarket chains, but as the company sets its sites on big contracts, it is seeking further investment.

On Friday, AgriMarine doubled the size of its non-brokered private placement announced Feb. 15, from a maximum of 25 million units to a maximum of 50 million units. It is selling the units at $0.20 (€0.15) each, for total gross proceeds of up to $10 million (€7.4 million). So far, there has been strong interest from investors, AgriMarine Director Sean Wilton told *IntraFish*.

There are strong indicators that AgriMarine's salmon farming operation is poised for strong growth in China, he said."

But there's one problem. China is currently farming the right species, mostly carp, kelp and clams. These plants and herbivores have a very low ecological footprint, and switching to farming of top predators like salmon would dramatically increase the ecological foot print of China's seafood production. So growing a few salmon for Chinese consumers isn't a problem but replacing carp with salmon would be a problem.

Growing demand for salmon produced elsewhere, like Norway and Scotland, shows the value to China of farming salmon at home. Let's hope that China sticks with the traditional low-footprint seafood that currently tops the charts, and smartly produces just a few salmon for an occasional treat.


Anonymous said...

Hi Mark;

Are you sure that Agrimarine is growing fish on land in China? My understanding is they are solid-walled systems in lakes. Also, they are not 'close-contained' in the true definition - they are flow through systems which capture a % of the organic waste.

Sorry if I am misunderstanding?

John Gap.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure this is on land and "contained"?

Mark Powell said...

I'm not sure, I may have been misled by some promotional materials. Either way, I'd rather not see salmon farming done in China.