China at a Crossroads: An Analysis of China's Changing Seafood Production and Consumption

Elsevier, One Earth, VOLUME 3, ISSUE 1, P32-44, JULY 24, 2020
Authors: 
Beatrice Crona, Emmy Wassenius, Max Troell, Kate Barclay, Tabitha Mallory, Michael Fabinyi, Wenbo Zhang, Vicky W.Y. Lam, Ling Cao, Patrik J.G. Henriksson, and Hampus Eriksson

China is a key player in global production, consumption, and trade of seafood. Given this dominance, Chinese choices regarding what seafood to eat, and how and where to source it, are increasingly important—for China, and for the rest of the world. This perspective explores this issue using a transdisciplinary approach and discusses plausible trajectories and implications for assumptions of future modeling efforts and global environmental sustainability and seafood supply. We outline China's 2030 projected domestic seafood production and consumption through an examination of available statistics, and qualitatively evaluate these in relation to key stated Chinese policy targets, consumer trends, and dominant political narratives. Our analysis shows that by 2030 China is likely to see seafood consumption outstrip domestic production. To meet the seafood gap China will likely attempt to increase domestic freshwater and offshore aquaculture, increase seafood imports, possibly expand the distant water fishing industry, and invest in seafood production abroad.