PCSDS Coastal Marine specialists gain insights from China’s mariculture

by | Feb 6, 2017

Philippine delegates heading home from China.

Three Coastal-Marine specialists of the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Staff joined other Philippine delegates in a visit to the mariculture province of Guangdong, China on January 9-14.

The representatives from the PCSDS were the following: John Francisco M. Pontillas, PCSDS Environmentally Critical Areas Network (ECAN) Coastal Marine Supervisor; Glenda M. Cadigal, PCSDS ECAN Coastal Marine Head; and Jesus E. Bream, Project Development Officer II. Completing the group were live fish traders from Palawan, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) officials from Region 3 and 4B.

The trip included visits to the farms, hatcheries, and laboratories which showcase aquaculture techniques that have proven to increase Guangdong’s fishery production.


  • (Clockwise) (1) Fish pond with aeration; (2) Fish cages; (3) Map of fish cages in China; and (4) Feed production
    (Clockwise) (1) Fish pond with aeration; (2) Fish cages; (3) Map of fish cages in China; and (4) Feed production

    Year 2016, 60 million tons of fish were produced and 70% came from pond aquaculture. 30% of this total production was for export (See Figure 1).

  • 100 species are currently being cultured in China, and the common fishes that are also being cultured here in the Philippines are prawn/shrimp, tilapia, sea bass, pompano, green grouper, oysters and crabs
  • Cage design in China are resilient to typhoon and the materials used are not expensive. These are made up of thick PVC and reduces the use of wood which is bad for the environment (See Figure 2). These cages which are used for deep sea already have an estimated total production depending on the diameter of the cage: 60 m circumference yields 25 MT, 80 m circumference yields 35-50 MT and 100 m yields 50-80 MT.
  • China has now have 12,000 cages (See Figure 3) which yields 100,000 metric tons per year, the return of investment for these cages only takes one year and the cost of cage is 250,000 yuan or P1.75 million only.
  • Problems of waste from fish cages have been addressed by using ecological microorganisms that breakdown waste, mechanical suction device to collect suspended waste, use of high quality feed that leaves less residue and by determining carrying capacity of area.
  • The government plays an important role in the advancement of the fishery production in China by providing heavy investment into research and infrastructures such as hatcheries, laboratories, feed formulation, fish ponds and buildings (See Figure 4).
  • In China, the farmers apply for lease then are subsidized by the government. Farmers are able to pay it back immediately.

Opportunities for Palawan & the Philippines:
How to Develop Our Fisheries & Aquaculture

  • We could improve techniques of local culture of bangus, tilapia and shrimp
  • Larval rearing, feed pellet improvement, disease prevention, develop technologies for faster growth rates and improve the quality of harvest
  • Outsourcing of investments from China for infrastructure improvement
  • Development of hatcheries, Laboratories, cement fish ponds, PVC type deep sea fish cages
  • Improved economic benefit due to trade of fishery products with China
  • Maximize areas in Palawan that can be used for Mariculture
  • Reduced dependence on natural stocks