Report on the 2019 Sea Bass Industry Development Forum

2nd July 2019


In May IFFO China attended the 2019 Sea Bass Industry Development Forum, which was one of the concurrent sessions in the 2019 Global Aquaculture Summit (GAS) held by China Aquatic Products Processing and Marketing Alliance (CAPPMA).

Presentations covered many aspects of sea bass industry, including industry development status and outlook, diseases and preventative measures, breeding, nutrition and feed, opportunities and challenges under the “Belt and Road Initiative”, and aquatic food traceability.


China Sea Bass Farming Industry Development Status and Outlook- Qiang Liu, Guangdong Qiangjing Agriculture Group

  • In 2018, total sea bass output in China was 156,600 tons, second only to that of large yellow croaker (177,600 tons).
  • Main farming areas: Guangdong Province (Zhuhai and Zhanjiang), Guangxi Province, Shandong Province, Fujian Province, and Zhejiang Province
  • Sea bass farming in Doumen Zhuhai: farming area covers 40,000-50,000 acres and there are over 3,000 farmers; sea bass output was 120,000 tons in 2018, accounting for 70% of total output
  • Reasons for Zhuhai being ideal for sea bass farming: brackish water at Pearl River estuary with salinity of 1-5‰, average rainfall of 2061.9 mm and sunshine of 1875.2 hours yearly. 
  • Outlook for sea bass farming industry: because of the high nutritional value (178 mg/g amino acids and 28.88mg/g DHA), sea bass farming is promising in China and focuses will be put on breeding and downstream processing. 


Sea Bass Farming and Development of Feed Nutrition Technology- Dr. Ma Xuekun, Guangdong Yuehai Feed Group

Sea bass farming

  • Sea bass farming volume (0000tons) from 2008 to 2018
  • Farming areas: 52.2% in Guangdong, 27.7% in Fujian, and 20.1% in others
  • Farming mode: in ponds (more mature) or cages
  • Feed feeding rate in different growth stages:

Sea bass nutrition and feed technology development

  • Feed coefficient was constantly going down over the last decade: the feed coefficient for sea bass that go into market firstly was reduced from 1.4 in 2009 to less than 1.2 in 2018 and that for those going to market lastly was reduced from 1.55 in 2009 to 1.25 in 2018.
  • Feed nutrition got improved
  • Protein inclusion rate was going up in sea bass feed from 40% in 2009 to 48% in 2018. More protein sources are available so that fishmeal is relied on less.
  • Sea bass nutrition demand can be met more specifically: feeds are developed for sea bass with different sizes or living in different conditions, e.g. different water temperatures or oxygen content
  • Big data application in sea bass farming made more research on sea bass nutrition demand possible and thus feed products can be optimized and customized

Yuehai’s future research on sea bass farming, nutrition and feed

  • Digestible nutrition of feed rather than its apparent nutrition
  • Functional feed for sea bass at different growth stages
  • Technologies to improve the quality of sea bass flesh
  • Healthy and precisely controlled farming modes of sea bass


Opportunities and Challenges for Sea Bass Industry under “Belt and Road Initiative”- Zhang Jiasong, South China Sea Fisheries Research Institute of China Academy of Fishery Science

Introduction of two popular species of sea bass

  • Japanese Sea Bass (Lateolabrax maculatus): suitable growth temperature is 16-27℃; can survive both in sea and fresh water; grow to 400-500g after 5 months feeding; farmed in ponds or cages; widely farmed in China
  • Asian Sea Bass/Barramundi (Lates calcarifer): suitable growth temperature is 28-32℃ and cannot survive below 12℃; can live both in sea and fresh water; grow to 500-600g after 4-5 months feeding; besides in ponds and cages, can be farmed intensively in industrial recirculation system; widely farmed in Southeast Asia

Suggestions on the promotion of sea bass industry under the “Belt and Road Initiative”

  • Japanese sea bass: to be promoted along the Silk Road economic belt, key countries: East Asia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tadzhikistan and Kyrgyzstan, because these areas have relatively abundant fresh water resource and saline-alkali lands, and the temperature is properly low for Japanese sea bass to live.
  • Asian sea bass: to be promoted along the 21th Century Maritime Silk Road, key countries: ASEAN, South Asia, Africa, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Burma, Cambodia, Brunei, Philippines, India, Pakistan, Bengal, and Sri Lanka. These areas have abundant sea water and fresh water resources, as well as the ocean and land resources. Also, the temperature is suitable for the growth of Asian Sea Bass.
  • Either for Japanese sea bass or Asian sea bass farming, barriers encountered by countries mentioned above include lack of seedlings, underdeveloped farming system and techniques, all of which are strong in China and can be introduced and promoted by China.
  • Mr. Zhang Jiasong visited many countries in Asia and investigated the market potential of sea bass farming. He found that some of the countries have great motivation and potential to develop and improve sea bass farming industry, especially Burma and Sri Lanka, to which China can provide help.