Global, Regional and National Perspectives
New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series
Edited by Nigel Bankes, Irene Dahl and David L.DahlVanderZwaag VanderZwaag
Chapter 10: National aquaculture law and policy: China
This chapter illustrates the current legal framework governing aquaculture in China, with a focus on mariculture activities and issues related to policy and law enforcement. Aquaculture has undergone rapid development over half a century, and China is now the number one producer of aquaculture products. This is partly owing to encouraging national policies and partly due to huge and diversified domestic market demand. A well-developed system of aquaculture laws, regulations and mandates in accordance with international legal principles has been formulated over the last 30 or so years in China, and a system of hierarchical law enforcement comprising state, provincial and local (county level) governments has also been established. The aquaculture permit and planning system is the major approach for aquaculture governance, while detailed rules and mandates also regulate aquaculture feeds, medical uses, quality control and environmental impacts. However, there is no complete and specific aquaculture law in China and there are gaps in aquaculture governance, and the industry has to cope with compromised benefits and demands for new space in its struggle for development. Developing rapidly over the past decades, aquaculture in China has achieved great success in sustaining food security, providing employment and maintaining social equity. At the same time, along with economic development in a number of sectors, it has brought about environmental problems such as pollution and loss of habitat and biodiversity. A series of aquaculture laws and regulations were implemented in China to cope with these issues and promote the sustainable development of the industry. However, significant gaps exist in the laws and policies. As China is currently making great efforts in developing its laws, it is expected that the legal system, as well as policies and governance for aquaculture will be significantly improved in the near future.
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