Across China: Fish farm develops into tourist hotspot in exploration of modern aquaculture-Xinhua

Across China: Fish farm develops into tourist hotspot in exploration of modern aquaculture

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2023-10-25 20:02:18

JINAN, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- Off the coast of Yantai City in east China's Shandong Province, the "Genghai No.1" fish farm resembles a colossal necklace when viewed from above. Two expansive floating walkways, each stretching 400 meters, are interconnected by a smart fishing ground at the northernmost point, while at the opposite end, a massive starfish-shaped leisure center shines like a glistening diamond.

Situated in an area with a seawater depth of about 10 meters, this giant complex combines seafood breeding, sightseeing, fishing, dining, accommodation, and public education, presenting a novel model of aquaculture in China.

Within the smart fishing area, three large circular net cages, each with a volume of around 10,000 cubic meters, primarily nurture species such as sea bream. Fish fry are released at appropriate times, depending on water temperature, said Yu Ziran, a staff member at the fish farm.

These cages yield approximately 200,000 fish annually, with an estimated yearly production of about 150,000 kilograms.

What truly distinguishes this facility from conventional fisheries is its high level of automation, achieved through automated feeding systems, environmental monitoring, 5G communication, unmanned boats and underwater inspection robots.

For instance, during extreme weather conditions necessitating evacuation, mobile terminals can be used for operations like feeding to maintain the fishing ground's normal functioning, said Yu.

Beyond fish cultivation in net cages, the "necklace" circles a water area of around 40,000 square meters, making it one of the largest single-unit aquaculture water bodies in the world where fish, shrimp, shellfish, and algae are cultivated.

On the southern end of "Genghai No.1," tourism is thriving. The main deck of the starfish-shaped "diamond" covers an area of 8,000 square meters, with a main structure featuring seven floors with a total indoor area of 10,000 square meters. Visitors can enjoy various leisure facilities, including a swimming pool, a children's water park, a science museum, restaurants, cafes, and more.

The floating walkways, five meters wide, are ideal for taking a stroll, jogging, fishing and watching the splendid seascape. Fishing enthusiasts adore this place. "The fish here are abundant and quite sizable," says Chen Jiadong, a tourist from north China's Hebei Province. It didn't take long after casting a line to experience the thrilling sensation of a fish biting the hook, he added.

Freshly caught fish can be packaged and delivered to tourists' homes or prepared for instant enjoyment at the on-site restaurant.

To operate more sustainably, the facility has installed solar panels and windmills on the walkways. According to Yu, solar and wind power generation systems can meet 30 percent of the electricity demand during peak holiday periods.

Waste generated on the fish farm is managed environmentally, with domestic waste being collected and transported to a designated land terminal for centralized treatment. Additionally, freshwater produced by a desalination plant in one day can cover three days of consumption.

"This place is very popular among holidaymakers, especially children. During the recent Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holidays, accommodation was fully booked," said Yu.

According to Shandong Marine Group Ltd., the developer and operator of "Genghai No.1," the leisure center has received over 20,000 visitors since its opening in May.