Information sources included the FAO website, a number of peer-reviewed journal and reports published by Chinese universities and research institutions and a recent Seafood Watch assessment report. Information on water quality is available through the Environmental Protection of Guangdong Province website (GDEP). Information on national legislation was provided by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MoA) website. Information on licensing was provided by the Guangdong Provincial Department of Ocean and Fisheries. Information on Environmental Impact Assessments was provided by the GDEP.
Information on disease monitoring procedures was provided by presentations made by the National Fisheries Technical Extension Center and the Chinese Academy of Sciences and information from the MoA and the Guangdong Provincial Aquatic Animal Disease Prevention and Control Center (GAADPC). Limited national-level information on disease outbreaks is available through the World Organization for Aquatic Animal Health (OIE) – World Animal Health Information System WAHIS database and the Network of Aquaculture Centers in Asia-Pacific (NACA) Quarterly Aquatic Animal Disease (QAAD) reports.
In general, shrimp farming in Guangdong is managed on a farm-level basis. There is no publicly available information of any zonal management plans currently being implemented.
Despite this, zonal management approaches to aquaculture are acknowledged in national and provincial legislation. For example, the Fishery Law (revised in 2004), gives provincial and local fishery administrations the authority to produce regional regulations and development plans for aquaculture tailored to local conditions, including the creation of aquaculture areas (Phillips et al., P. G. White and Yamamoto, others 2009).
At the provincial level, in 1999, the Guangdong provincial government introduced the Functional Zoning Scheme of the Coastal Areas of Guangdong Province, which classified coastal areas into different zones (including aquaculture) (Zhu and Dong 2010). In 2004, the government approved the Aquaculture Planning for Inland Water Area and Coastal Zone of Guangdong which established guidelines for aquaculture development and the management of local authorities (Zhu and Dong 2010). However, there is no publicly available information on its content or implementation.
At the national-level, aquaculture production is governed by the MoA’s Order 31 - Provisions on Quality and Safety Management of Aquaculture (MoA 2003). Article 8 of this Order calls for provincial-level authorities to identify aquaculture areas, plan production, and scientifically determine the scale of farming and culture methods (MoA 2003).
In 2016, the MoA notice on issuing a code of practice for the creation of coastal aquaculture watershed plans, stating that it was necessary to plan and allocate aquaculture production based on good science and identify aquaculture areas to protect the environment and resource users (MoA 2016). Recently, the government announced plans to establish thousands of provincial-level aquaculture demonstration zones under China’s 13th Five Year Plan. These will account for 65% of national aquaculture production by 2020 (Godfrey 2017).
Licensing: Since 2002, the MoA has been responsible for a nationwide aquaculture licensing system (Phillips et al., P. G. White and Yamamoto, others 2009)(Zhu and Dong 2010). However, the process has faced problems with a lack of legislation concerning site selection for aquaculture and the inclusion of small-scale farmers (USDA 2012)(Zajdband 2012)(Zhu and Dong 2010). In Guangdong, licenses are awarded by the Guangdong Provincial Department of Ocean and Fisheries. Details on the application process and relevant forms are available from their website (GDOF 2018)(GDOF 2018).
The EIA Law (2003 amended 2008) requires a project developer to submit an EIA document (either an environmental impact report, environmental form or a registration form) to the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) or its local counterpart before beginning construction of any project in China (Phillips et al., P. G. White and Yamamoto, others 2009). In Guangdong, it is the responsibility of the Environmental Protection of Guangdong Province (GDEP) (GDEP 1999). The type of document submitted depends on the level of the project’s potential environmental impact. As of 2008, cage and net enclosure aquaculture in sensitive areas required an EIA report. Oher types of marine and freshwater farms in sensitive areas required an EIA form (Phillips et al., P. G. White and Yamamoto, others 2009). The requirements for an environmental registration form are not clear.
Proposed EIAs and their results are available for construction projects in Guangdong from the GDEP, but these do not include aquaculture enterprises (GDEP 1999).
The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) is the main scientific advisory institution in China (Li et al. 2016). Its research and development arm consists of over 100 research institutions covering most aspects of the natural sciences (Li et al. 2016). The MoA and Bureau of Fisheries also support scientific research via the China National Fishery Technology Extension Centre (CNEC) and its regional extension stations, which are the main mechanisms for fisheries technology extension services (Farquhar and Sims 2017)(Song 1997).
Water Quality: The CNEC is responsible for research into environmental quality monitoring techniques and produces reports on the state of China's environment. It also provides support to the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) and its management of environmental quality.
Health Management: The National Fisheries Technical Extension Center, under the MoA, is responsible for establishing a national aquatic animal disease monitoring, control systems, and the development and revision of disease diagnostics (Feng 2013).
Disease Control: The China Institute of Veterinary Drugs Control under the MoA is responsible for the assessment of veterinary drugs, residue testing, and the formulation and revision of regulations and standards on veterinary drugs (Bureau of Veterinary, MoA 2011)(MoA 2013).
At the national level, the Bureau of Fisheries under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs is the main department responsible for aquaculture plans under the national government’s five-year plan. These plans are implemented by the local Department of Fisheries offices (Farquhar and Sims 2017).
Water Quality: The MoA have also produced NY 5051–2001 (Water quality standards for freshwater aquaculture) and NY 5052-2001 (Water Quality of Aquatic Products for Aquatic Water) for freshwater and marine aquaculture farms respectively (MoA 2001)(MoA 2001). MoA Order 31 (Provisions on Quality and Safety Management of Aquaculture) requires farms to comply with the appropriate standard (MoA 2003). Water sources that do not meet water quality standards are prohibited. Article 6 of Order 31 states that aquaculture enterprises shall regularly monitor water quality (MoA 2003). The MoA has also produced SC/T 9103-2007 - Marine aquaculture water discharge requirements (MoA 2007)(Zhu and Dong 2010).
Health Management: A national aquatic animal epidemic prevention system has been established under the National Fisheries Technical Extension Center (Li 2017). In 2012, the MoA introduced a National Aquatic Animal Disease Surveillance Program, which includes the monitoring of WSD and IHHN in five provinces, including Guangdong (MoA 2012). Aquatic animal disease surveillance plans are produced annually, with a new disease program introduced in 2017 (MoA 2012)(MoA 2015)(MoA 2016)(MoA 2016)(MoA 2017). Following the publication of the national Animal Epidemics Law, national animal quarantine measures have been established (including those for aquatic animals). These aim to strengthen the management of animal quarantine activities and prevent and animal epidemics (GAADPC 2007).
The Guangdong Provincial Aquatic Animal Disease Prevention and Control Center under the GDOF produce monthly aquaculture disease forecasts and guidance on the control of shrimp diseases via their website (GAADPC 2007)(GAADPC 2018)(GAADPC 2018).
Disease Control: The use of veterinary drugs in aquaculture is governed by the MoA through the State Council’s regulations on the administration of veterinary drugs (Feng 2013). The most recent regulation is the 2014 Registration, Manufacture, Distribution, Import, and Export, use, Supervision and Administration of Veterinary Drugs and Vaccines, under which the MoA Veterinary Bureau and its provincial branches are responsible for enforcement (Li 2017).
The MoA Order 31 (Provisions on Quality and Safety Management of Aquaculture) requires that farms comply with the MoA National Veterinary Regulations, and Pollution-free food guidelines for the use of fishery drugs (NY5071-2002) (MoA 2003). Article 18 of Order 31 requires farms to keep a record of disease outbreaks and drug use. Records should be kept for a minimum of two years post-production and sale (MoA 2003).
Since 2001, the MoA has conducted routine monitoring of national agriculture product quality (including aquatic products) under the Department of Technology and Quality Supervision (DTQS) (Li 2017). Article 20 of Order 31 requires the MoA to implement a National Monitoring Program for Drug Residue of Aquaculture Aquatic Products (MoA 2003).
A Chinese Inspector Quarantine (CIQ) certificate is required for all export product (Zajdband 2012)(Zhang et al. 2015). The PRC’s State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) is responsible for national import and export inspections (AQSIQ 2018).
Water Quality: The MoA NY 5051–2001 and NY5052-2001 set limits for freshwater and marine aquaculture respectively (MoA 2001)(MoA 2001)(Zhu and Dong 2010). According to MoA Order 31, water should be treated when it does not meet these standards. Production should stop and farms should report to the local fishery administrative department if water quality repeatedly fails to meet these standards (MoA 2003). In 2007, the MoA introduced SC/T 9103–2007 - Water Drainage Standard for Mariculture. These set limits to farm discharge and outline measurement and supervision protocols (MoA 2007)(Zhu and Dong 2010).
Health Management: The National Fisheries Extension System has introduced a national aquatic animal epidemic prevention system which monitors 36 aquatic diseases, including white spot disease (WSD) and Infectious Hypodermal and Hematopoietic Necrosis (IHHN) (Li 2017).
Disease Control: The following antibiotics are prohibited from use in aquaculture: norfloxacin, ciprofloxacin, erythromycin, chloramphenicol, tylosin, bacitracin Zinc, nitrofurans (furazolidone, nitrofurazone, nitrofurantoin, etc.) and olaquindox (Li 2017). Allowable antibiotics include, but are not exclusive to, sulfadiazine, flumequine, oxolinic acid and oxytetracycline (Li 2017).
Prohibited and allowed veterinary drugs for animal production (including aquatic species) and relevant Maximum Residual Levels (MRL) are also provided by the MoA Announcement 235 (GAIN 2007).
Industry and Management Performance
Due to the lack of information on license content and the number of licensed farms, it is difficult to assess current industry compliance with license requirements.
Water Quality: Not available
Health Management: Not available
Disease Control: A list of CIQ certified seafood suppliers (both international and domestic) is available via the AQSIQ website (AQSIQ 2018). CIQ registered enterprises are also available under the CIQ website (CIQS 2008).
Water Quality: The MEP provides an online national database of weekly water quality for various waterbodies (including lakes, river basins, and rivers). However, coastal water quality is not included (MEP 2018).
The Guangdong Environment Protection Department provides quarterly water quality data for river estuaries in Guangdong province. Twenty-three sites are monitored (GDEP 2018)(GDEP 2018). According to the 2017 summary report by the Environmental Protection Department, water quality in 73.7% of river estuaries was classified as good; 15.8% was slightly polluted, and 10.5% was heavily polluted (GDEP 2018). The main pollutants were COD, BOD 5, ammonia nitrogen and total phosphorus, although the sources were not identified (GDEP 2018).
Health Management: At the national level, the industry has been impacted by AHPND, which is thought to have caused a halt to the growth in production in 2013. The disease affected all major shrimp producing regions (Portley 2016). Another disease of concern is Hepatopancreatic microsporidiosis (HPM) caused by the microsporidian Enterocytozoon hepatopenaei (EHP) (Portley 2016). Despite this, the OIE WAHIS database does not currently list any disease outbreaks at either the national or provincial level from 2015 onwards (World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) 2017). Information from NACA’s QAAD reports indicates the presence of WSD, and the confirmed infection (but no clinical disease) of IHHN and IMN limited to one or more zones. However, there is no indication of the province affected (NACA et al. 2017).
Disease Control: The US FDA recently issued two import alerts concerning the use of unapproved drugs in seafood and the use of the prohibited substance nitrofuran (FDA 2018)(FDA 2018). These list multiple companies that are subject to Detention Without Physical Examination (DWPE) due to the historic presence of prohibited substances. At the national level, four Chinese companies are listed for supplying shrimp product containing chloramphenicol, one of which is from Guangdong – with the incident taking place in 2003 (FDA 2018). No Chinese companies have supplied shrimp containing nitrofurans (FDA 2018).
The EC RASFF portal does not list any recent notifications (from 2015 onwards) of border rejections or other follow up measures concerning shrimp from China due to either the presence of prohibited substances or MRLs above allowable thresholds for export destinations (European Commission 2018).
Trends in Performance
Water Quality: Extensive shrimp systems have been gradually replaced by semi-intensive and intensive systems, which account for 85% and 15% of production systems respectively (Cao 2012). Daily water exchange is estimated at 1-3% for semi-intensive and 8-15% for intensive farms, which are typically flow-through systems that discharge their effluents directly into water bodies (Cao 2012). Since 2008, freshwater (inland) production has overtaken brackish water (coastal) production, and there are concerns this is causing salinization (Ma 2015).
Health Management: The OIE WAHIS database lists two outbreaks of IHHN in 2012 & 2013; up to three outbreaks of Taura Syndrome per year from 2010 – 2013; up to five outbreaks of WSD per year from 2010-2013; and one outbreak of YHD per year in 2012 & 2013 ((World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) 2017). AHPND and IMN are absent; however, AHPND was only added to the OIE list of notifiable diseases in 2016 (World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) 2017).
Disease Control: Over the period 2005-2014, the EC RASFF portal lists multiple notifications concerning the detection of prohibited veterinary drugs in shrimp from China (classified as serious) or levels of antibiotics above MRL for export destinations (classified as not serious). However, the province of origin is not stated (European Commission 2018). These included those identified as prohibited from use in China, notably chloramphenicol and nitrofurans (European Commission 2018)(GAIN 2007)(Li 2017). There are no notifications from 2015 onwards (European Commission 2018).
In association with the China Aquatic Products Promotion & Marketing Association (CAPPMA), Shanghai Ocean University, and leading fishery and aquaculture scientists, China Blue has developed and launched iFISH - a database of Chinese seafood profiles (including farmed species) aiming to assist Chinese seafood retailers and buyers to identify environmental and social risks in their supply chain (iFISH 2018)(Mao 2017).
Water Quality: The 13th Five Year Plan (FYP) (2016-2020) will focus on reducing water pollution and intends to reduce chemical oxygen demand and ammonia pollution over the plan’s timeframe. This will be achieved by the construction of urban sewage treatment and support facilities, urban stormwater capture and recycling, and the reduction of waste pollutants (Hsu et al. 2017). In 2015, China’s State Council published an Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Water Pollution (the Water Ten Plan). This roadmap outlines ten general measures and 38 sub-measures and deadlines for tackling water pollution and the responsible government department (Hsu et al. 2017).
Health Management: Aquatic animal disease surveillance plans are produced annually (MoA 2012)(MoA 2015)(MoA 2016)(MoA 2016)(MoA 2017).
Disease Control: The revised Food Safety Law (2015) established a food safety monitoring system for food-borne diseases, contamination, and other food-related hazards (FAO 2015).