Overview of the present situation of carp farming in China
by Wang Xin, Song Zhigang, Yang Yong, Guangzhou Hinter Biotechnology, Guangdong, China
arp is one of the main species of China's aquaculture industry, forming 13 percent of its farmed fish output. Because of their wide adaptability, carp can be farmed in an extensive variety of regions. However, in recent years their quality in China has declined. With the blind pursuit of production volumes and backward steps in breeding management technology, many problems have appeared in carp aquaculture.
Common carp belongs to the taxonomic group Osteichthyes of the animal kingdom, in the Cyprinidae family of the Cypriniformes subclass. Carp live at the bottom of water bodies, and tend to stir them up in foraging activity. Common carp can quickly adapt to the temperature and quality of water, and grow quickly at the same time (1 kg or more in a single year). Their breeding season is early April to early June, and reach sexual maturity after two years.Carp is a typically omnivorous fish, although they can be carnivorous. Their feeding mode is deglutition. Carp fry mainly eat zooplankton, and later begin to eat benthos. When their body length reaches 7-17 cm, under natural conditions carp eat crustaceans, insect larvae, algae, plant tissue and so on. In the aquacul- ture industry farmers use compound feeds to provide their nutrition.
Common carp grow quickly, have high output and a strong tolerance for envi-ronmental conditions, which means they can be cultivated widely from the north-ern provinces Heilongjiang, Liaoning, Tianjin, Hebei and Shanxi, to the southern provinces Yunnan, Sichuan and Guizhou. As mentioned above, carp is one of the main species for Chinese aquaculture, making up 13 percent of total production volume.
The most common carp species in China are Jian carp, Yellow River carp, red carp and German mirror carp. All have similar nutritional requirements although fish farmers must bear certain differences in mind. German mirror carp typically exhibit higher feed con-versation ratios than the Yellow River or Jian varities, and consequently tend to enjoy a faster growth rate (reaching 1.25 kg after a year, rather than 1 kg). However, the disease resistance of German mirror carp is poor, and require higher water quality to be successfully farmed. For these reasons, all three are viable aquacul- ture species, although German mirror carp enjoy higher and more stable prices in the marketplace.
Aquaculture carp threat to Great Lakes wildlife
hough a popular species for farming in their own right, carp’s bottom-dwelling behaviour, tolerance of a wide range of environmental conditions and omnivo-rous feeding habits also makes them an attractive candidate for integrated aquaculture systems.
Authorities in the Great Lakes region of the United States are now having to deal with the drawbacks of this hardiness, as Asian carp spe-cies originally imported to the southern states to control vegetation in aquaculture and waste-water treatment have been found spawning as far north as the Sandusky River in Ohio.It is a well-established fact that the Mississippi River is infested with Asian carp, and one of those species, the grass carp, has made the jump to the tributary river of Lake Erie. Although vegetation-eating grass carp do significant damage to aquatic habitats, scientists are particularly worried about the prospect of bighead carp and silver carp joining them. They require similar spawning conditions to the species already in place, but as plankton feeders will out-compete and out-breed native fish.US environmental official John Goss has called for the renewal of the administration’s US$200 mil-lion “aggressive strategy” to keep the Great Lakes free of the invasive species. Given the threat to the US$7 billion sports fishing industry and US$234 million commercial fishery in both the USA and Canada, it’s time to cut the carp.
November-December 2013 | INTERNATIONAL