Guangzhou happening

The Global technical and trade conference on shrimp was held on November 6-8 in Guangzhou (formerly Canton), PR China and was organized by FAO, the FishInfoNetwork, the Ministry of Agriculture - PR China and other government & private entities in China.

There were 250 participants from 22
countries, though most were Chinese. The Philippines was well-represented in the conference by Mr. Wilfredo Yap who was invited to talk about the status of shrimp culture in the Philippines, and by eight participants [Pastor Torres Jr, Celia Pitogo of AQD, Minvilu Casido, Susan Landoy, Kaylin Corre (also of AQD), Valeriano Corre, Christopher Co and Mrs. Co].

Field trip: Guangzhou live fish market
Located along the scenic Pearl River, the market’s main business is wholesale live aquatic products like fish, shrimps, crabs, mollusks, etc., and it is the largest in China with an annual traded volume of 190,000 tons. The products come from various parts of China and from 20 countries around the world. During the official briefing we were informed that everyday, around 200 tons of live fish from this market are delivered to HongKong, Macau and several cities in China.

Half of this complex is already in use
and when the project will be completed, it will have two 15-storey towers to hold trading offices and 5 storeys of market area covering 5 hectares. The new Huangsha Aquatic Products Market area will have a total constructed area of 18 ha – a humungous structure!

The field visit also took us to various
farms and a tilapia hatchery in Guangdong Province, but the most interesting farm we visited was not for shrimp, but for freshwater prawn, Macrobrachium.

Because autumn has set in and evening temperature has started to drop (around 20 degrees C), the farm constructed a roof (made of plastic and looking like a “bubble”) over a 4-hectare area of freshwater prawn ponds for over-wintering (next two photos after the scale model). There was also “bull-culling” at the time of visit (4th photo at left) wherein male freshwater prawns are selected for ongrowing to large sizes (above 80 g) in separate ponds with females, which are grown to relatively smaller sizes and harvested just before spawning (30-40 g).

Face-to-face with AQD’s eLearners, training alumni in HongKong
Our flawless trip to Guangzhou via HongKong was largely due to the advice given by a fish health training alumnus, Mr. Aaron Leung who was in AQD for 6 weeks in 1994. Working with HongKong SAR’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, he is the point man in HongKong’s fish health activities. Aaron met us at the Hongdum train station on our way back to HongKong. He was with his boss Dr. WW Cheng, Thomas Ng (Aqua-Health alumnus 2004), Karen Fong and Leo Shum (currently enrolled in Aqua-Health online). During lunch, Dr. Cheng explained to us their fish health activities, also saying how very thankful he is to SEAFDEC for having trained a significant number (a total of seven staff including four now actively participating) of their staff mainly through AquaHealth Online (AHOL). - by CL Pitogo

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