College graduate succeeds in large yellow croaker farming business in China's Fujian

(People's Daily Online) 15:50, May 17, 2022

Ye Zhoumin shows large yellow croakers in his farm. (Photo/Chinanews.com)

With support from his university, Ye Zhoumin, 26, from Ningde city, southeast China's Fujian Province, has developed a successful high-quality large yellow croaker business after engaging in deep-sea cage farming.

“The breeding farm covers an area of 80,000 square meters,” introduced Ye, who has been engaged in the business for six years. “It is expected that over 600 tonnes of premium large yellow croakers will be produced this year,” he added.

Instead of developing the breeding industry in the inner bay area, which is a common practice, the young man eyed the deep sea far away from the shore, which provides better water quality and can therefore guarantee a higher quality and price for the prized fish.

In September 2017, he established a company, and started cultivating two boxes of fish fries in the sea waters off Doumi village, Xiapu county of Ningde, an ideal place for large yellow croaker farming. His fish fries were raised in a huge net cage, which was also a departure from the conventional mode. Traditionally, large yellow croakers are bred in small cages with a high density, which affected the quality of the fish. But Ye’s net cage, with a base area that covers 3,600 square meters, provides the fish a larger space to move around.

The trial proved successful. About one year later when the fish hit the market, the fish were quickly sold out in a few months, with the sales volume of his company exceeding 1 million yuan (about $147,000). But after Ye expanded his business in 2019, a disease emerged among the fish fries that ended up causing him to lose out on nearly 10 million yuan. “It was difficult to monitor the condition of the fish fries and the quality of the sea water in the huge net cages,” he explained.

Fortunately, Minjiang University, Ye’s alma mater, lent a helping hand in June 2020. He Wei, a professor at the university, led over 10 experts to conduct on-site research, and introduced digital technology to Ye’s farming base for the real-time monitoring of the development of the fish and the quality of the water. “The technology monitors water temperature, flow rate, and salinity in real time,” said Ye, adding that this makes the feeding pattern more accurate.

Ye sold over 30-million-yuan worth of large yellow croakers in 2021, while his breeding farm has since become an education base for the university.

Besides, Ye also joined hands with a research team from the university to extract sea cucumber peptides from sea cucumber farming and add it into the fish feed. “Rich in amino acidic compounds, the sea cucumber peptide is a quality organic feed,” said Ye.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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