Sustainable farming practices of the Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis) around Hongze Lake, lower Yangtze River Basin, China
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Results of a survey of 156 Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis) grow-out farms around Hongze Lake (118.48–118.72°E; 33.36–33.38°N) are reported. Area farmed has remained relatively unchanged but production (59 932 t in 2012) increased steadily over the last 7 years, indicative of the viability and sustainability of the farming system that has gradually replaced intensive Chinese major carp polyculture around Hongze Lake. Results showed that production range was 135–2400 kg ha−1 cycle−1 (mean 1144 ± 34). Crab yields correlated linearly to stocking density and conformed to a normal distribution curve, with 66.7 % of farms yielding 900 kg ha−1 cycle−1 or more. Yield was negatively correlated to pond size and capture size (p < 0.01), and farms with macrophyte coverage rate lower than 30 % of water surface were significantly (p < 0.05) lower than those exceeding 30 %.
KeywordsChinese mitten crab Eriocheir sinensis Farming practice Feed type Macrophyte Yield Hongze lake
This work was financially supported by the National Science and Technology Supporting Program of China (No. 2012BAD25B08) and the State Key Laboratory of Freshwater Ecology and Biotechnology (No. 2014FBZ04). All of us are grateful to numerous farmers who willingly and unreservedly provided us information and records. The valuable cooperation with Hongze Lake Fisheries Management Committee Office and Aquaculture Technology Extension Stations around Hongze Lake is gratefully acknowledged. The contribution of one of us (S.S. De Silva) was made when on a Visiting Professorship under the auspices of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), tenable at the Institute of Hydrobiology, Wuhan. This support from the CAS is gratefully acknowledged.
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