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Carps are the major species cultured, but Chinese river crab ( Marine and brackish water aquaculture has grown rapidly over the last two decades together with diversified culture systems from ponds to floating rafts, pens, cages (inshore, offshore and submerged), indoor tanks with water re-circulation, sea bottom culture and sea ranching.
Before 1980 species farmed were mainly kelp, laver ( ) and mussel which accounted for 98 percent in volume of total marine culture output.
In 2003 China registered a total amount of 30.28 million tonnes of farmed fish, accounting for 64.34 percent of national fishery production.
Nowadays, Chinese fish farmers not only practice intensive culture in pond systems, but have also used this method in open-waters such as reservoirs, lakes, rivers and channels, by using cages, net enclosures and pens.
By breaking market monopoly and trade barriers among Chinese regions, China created an enabling environment for the market development of the aquaculture industry.
At the same time, scientific and technological advancement also paved the way for large-scale production of the Chinese aquaculture industry.
Exports of farmed shrimp, eel, tilapia, shellfish and seaweed have also formed the backbone of Chinese seafood exports, accounting for about 50 percent of national seafood exports in terms of value.
The rapid development of aquaculture in China has not only contributed to improved food supply, but has also generated employment and income to the Chinese people.