Aquaculture receives boost in Rugao
People work at a sliced raw fish workshop of Jiangsu Hongjiu Aquatic Product Co in Rugao. [Photo/WeChat account: rugaofabu]
Rugao, a county-level city in Nantong, Jiangsu province has seen rapid growth in its aquaculture sector, which is good news for the city's villages and farmers.
The output value of the sector has exceeded 2 billion yuan ($289.9 million) so far this year.
Rugao has been leading Jiangsu province in the raising of fish in rice fields since the 1960s. The practice has been promoted and adopted over nearly 10,000 mu (666.67 hectare) of land throughout the city, increasing incomes for local farmers by a combined total of over 20 million yuan, said Dong Jiankun, an official at the city's aquaculture technology center.
Goldfish cultivation has also long been a staple of Rugao's traditional aquaculture industry and has experienced significant development over the past few years.
More than 300,000 square meters of goldfish farms in the city generate more than 200 million yuan in annual gross output.
Annual sales of an indigenous species known as the "Rugao butterfly tail goldfish" alone exceed 30 million yuan. As more than 60 percent of the fish are exported, supply still can't match demand in Southeast Asia, Europe, and North America.
Snakehead fish are another major driver behind Rugao's aquaculture development. A complete snakehead industrial chain has been formed in the city, which includes fry breeding, deep processing, fodder production, distribution, and marketing.
One of the leading snakehead companies in the city, Jiangsu Hongjiu Aquatic Products Co, has expanded to over 30 large and medium-sized cities in the Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta regions, with annual sales hitting 1.56 billion yuan last year.