China is set to buy more than 5,500 tonnes of carp in 2019 in the latest in a series of aggressive moves to diversify its fish-growing industry amid a slowdown in global demand and fears that global warming is contributing to the rise of invasive species.
The move, which will be announced by China’s National Fish Investment Corporation, comes as the country struggles with rising temperatures, a slowing economy and a surge in pollution.
The announcement is the first official step in a process that began with an announcement by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) in 2016 that the country would invest up to $1.1 trillion in the sector over the next five years.
The NDRC has since pledged $6.8 billion in subsidies for the carp industry, which has seen rapid growth over the past decade, and the National Fish Marketing Corporation (NFM) has pledged $1 billion to help promote the industry.
The National Fish Development Council, which includes the NDRC and the NFM, will oversee the industry’s expansion, with its aim to expand production to 25 million tonnes annually by 2021, according a statement from the NDCCC.
China has been the world’s largest producer of carp and was one of the first countries to establish a carp processing facility in the southern province of Guangdong in the 1990s.
The move to diversification has not gone unnoticed.
Last year, a report by the World Economic Forum warned that China was heading towards a population explosion due to a decline in fish stocks.
China’s economic growth is forecast to slow to 1.2 percent in 2021, down from 2.6 percent last year, according the report.