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  Chinese flag China Fisheries 

China-U.S. Project Updated in Dec. 2000

Photo of two boats on lake in sunset.

China is situated in the eastern part of Asia, on the west coast of the Pacific Ocean.   It has a total land area of 9.6 million square kilometers, stretching from the central line of the main navigation channel of the Heilongjiang near Mohe in the north (Latitude 53 N.) to the Zengmu Reef of the Nansha Islands in the south (Latitude 4 N.), and from the Pamirs in the west (Longitude 73 E.) to the confluence of the Heilongjiang and the Wusuli in the east (Longitude 135 E.).  China has a curved coastal line of 18,000 kilometers and over 5,000 islands.

Apart from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau with a cold weather, most part of China has a moderate climate,  70% areas being located in the mid-moderate zone and temperate zone, sub-tropical and tropical zone.  China is faced to the Bohai Sea, the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea and the South China Sea.   China has 33 administrative provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions which are directly subordinated to the central government including Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Chongqing, Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Hebei, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Gansu, Qinghai, Ningxia, Xinjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan, Tibet, Shandong, Anhui, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong and Macao as two Special Administrative Regions.

There are four seas along China coast, including the Bohai Sea, the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea and the South China Sea, which are also semi-closed seas, spanning from tropical, subtropical and temperate zones among 3-41 N latitudes. The Bohai Sea is an inner sea, with an area of 77,000 km2. The Yellow Sea is about 380,000 km2, and the East and South China Seas are about 770,000, and 3,500,000 km2, respectively. The area of continental shelf (depth less than 200 m) is about 1,400,000 km2. The coastal line of China is 18,000 km. They are spread variety of more than 5,000 islands all over the coastal seas, with coastal line of more than 14,000 km along these islands. The shallow sea and intertidal zone are about 134,000 km2, 10% of them may be used for marine culture. The seas annually receive the runoffs more than 1,500 billion m3 from rivers, with huge nutritive matters that provide nutritive basis for the growth of marine living resources.

The species of marine living resources in the seas are very abundant, with about 1700 fishes, 100 cephalopods, 300 shrimps, and 600 crabs. About 200 species are economically important in marine fisheries.

China is the largest fish producer in the world.  Since 1990, fish production in China has ranked first in the world, reaching around 40 million tons in 1999 and accounting for 30 percent of the world total. At present, however, the industry is also faced with some problems such as fishery resource decline, environment deterioration, labor surplus and market stagnation.  Like other industries in China, the fishery sector urgently requires a strategic restructuring in order to meet the changing international trading environment and to stimulate economic growth in the sector.


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  Updated 6/4/07

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