China is building an armada of fish farm vessels. Now the first ship has been launched

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Plans to build up to 50 ships of 100,000 tonnes each.

On November 6, “Guoxin 101” was launched out of the port city of Taizhou, to set out on the East China Sea, where the ship will undergo testing, reports tv station Qingdao News, according to Undercurrent News.

The fish farming vessel is equipped with underwater cameras, sensors and automated feeding facilities.

“Today we have made a major step towards the realization of the country’s plans to build a fleet of intelligent fish farms,” said Dong Shaoguang, vice president of Qingdao Conson Group, the state-owned company funding the project.

The 3,000-tonne “Guoxin 101” aims to produce fish without polluting the environment. The idea is to produce fish far out at sea, where sludge/waste can be easily washed away by the ocean currents. A constant flow of clean seawater fills the tanks on board the ship. Eventually, the company wants to test out the farming of Atlantic salmon, as well as the local fish species yellow croaker.

The company is cooperating with China Shipbuilding Group, the world’s largest shipyard group. The next move will be to build “Guoxin 1”, a 100,000-tonne vessel the size of an Aframax oil tanker. The yard will build 50 such vessels, and the fleet will then be able to produce up to 200,000 tonnes of fish annually.

Qingdao Conson manages a USD 1.5 billion marine fund, owns China’s largest tilapia breeder. It has also acquired the country’s first land-based salmon farm.