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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.
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.
In 2003 the paddy areas for fish farming were expanded to 1.56 million hectares with a total output of 1.024 million tonnes.
Most of the seeds of farmed species are supplied from hatcheries.
The exception is eel farming, which still relies on seeds collected from natural waters or from imports from other countries.
Apart from pond fish culture, open-water fish farming accounts for most of the remaining output.
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.