Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn Fishing in China mostly comes from aquaculture — farming fish in pens rather than catching them wild. Credit: Jan Christian-Teller, Creative Commons Everywhere you look in the world of seafood, there’s China. It produces more than a third of the world’s seafood each year. It’s been the world’s largest exporter of seafood since 2002. And it’s also the largest consumer of seafood. China's fishing industry is massive, and highly regulated. An estimated 14 million people work for its fisheries. Regulation of the seafood industry kicked off in 1986 with a law that concentrated much of the industry’s power into local governments. The government incentivizes fishing with subsidies for things like fuel. In 2018, China distributed $7.2 billion in fishing subsidies — more than any other country, and a fifth of all such subsidies globally. But with the rapid expansion of fishing came controversy. After decades of overfishing, large Chinese trawlers now go beyond the country’s waters to look for seafood in open and sometimes contested waters, which creates conflicts with neighboring countries. And the fuel subSubscribe or login to read the rest. Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.