QINGDAO, May 20 (Xinhua) -- The world's first 100,000-tonne intelligent aquaculture ship was ready to begin operations on Friday in east China's port city of Qingdao.
According to the Qingdao Conson Development (Group) Co., Ltd., the ship is 249.9 meters long and houses 15 breeding cabins with a total water holding capacity of nearly 90,000 cubic meters. The breeding cabins can be used to cultivate fish species such as large yellow croaker, garrupa and Atlantic salmon. Around 450 million yuan (about 67 million U.S. dollars) has been invested in the ship.
The ship-borne smart aquaculture system is expected to have an annual output of 3,700 tonnes of high-quality fish, equivalent to that of Chagan Lake, one of China's largest freshwater lakes. The first batch of large yellow croaker raised on the ship will be hauled and put on the market this fall.
Centralized control and real-time monitoring of water, oxygen, light and feeding in the breeding tanks are carried out by 2,108 measuring and control points on the ship. The fish breeding density in the tanks can be four to six times that in traditional aquaculture cages, and the breeding cycle can be shortened by more than a quarter.
Chen Zhixin, chief scientist of the Fishery Machinery and Instrument Research Institute under the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, said that commissioning the ship helps push the aquaculture area from nearshore to deep sea, using the high-quality seawater resources for breeding.
He said sea fish can provide nutritious aquatic protein and make up an important food supplement. ■