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Symposium brings top fisheries experts to Beijing

At the May 13-15 symposium on Fisheries and Food Security in China, 27 leading scientists and scholars from around the world gathered in Beijing to share research on the role of ocean fisheries, aquaculture, and marine ecosystems for improving food security in China.

Given China’s demographic changes, evolving nutritional requirements and dominant role in global fisheries, the key question of the symposium was whether marine ecosystems can be managed adequately to support the country’s future vision for domestic food security.

From left: Roz Naylor, Ling Cao and Charlotte Hudson

The symposium highlighted new research on the provision of wild fish for human consumption and for animal feeds. Scholars also shared insights on China’s aquaculture sector, including the tradeoffs involved in using wild fish in aquaculture feed.

The three-day meeting focused on critical questions about the future of fisheries and food security in China:

  • How will China's seafood consumption evolve with a population that is growing in both size and wealth?
  • How can China manage its seafood industry to maximize its own food security now and in the future?
  • Can aquaculture take pressure off of wild fisheries, or does the inclusion of wild fish in aquaculture feed put more pressure on wild fish stocks?
  • Can marine ecosystems be managed to protect both ocean health and food security?
  • How does the global fish trade, including demand for luxury and medicinal seafood products, shape China's fish production industry, and vice versa?

Among the 26 participants were researchers and policy experts from Stanford University, Ocean University of China, University of Stirling, Shanghai Ocean University, University of Maine, South China Sea Fisheries Research Institute (CAFS), Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute (CAFS), Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, Stony Brook University, Xiamen University, Hainan University, Shandong University, Asia Pacific Fish Watch, Hong Kong University, International Institute of Sustainable Development, James Cook University, China Policy, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre.

In between meetings held at the Stanford Center at Peking University, participants traveled to Beijing's largest fish market, where they observed local offerings and discussed trends in the global seafood trade with fish vendors. 

The symposium, funded by the Lenfest Ocean Program and chaired by FSE director Rosamond Naylor, kicks off a multi-year series of research papers and international meetings aimed at advancing the science around Chinese fisheries and food security. This ongoing international project will be coordinated by Professor Naylor and by Dr. Ling Cao, a postdoctoral fellow at FSE.