Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

Another Fishy Tale

China Daily (English version) has a story where the reporter gets himself tied up in geographical knots. The first paragraph states that the events take place “in Liuzhou”. The second para says “160 kilometres away from Liuzhou”. Which is correct?

Well, both are. The story’s setting is Rongshui County which is in Liuzhou Prefecture, but not in Liuzhou city. This is why we get locations like Bingbong Village, Dingdang Town, Yingyang County, Liuzhou. (That’s one imaginary location).

It is always puzzling working out what people mean when they talk about “Liuzhou”. What does it mean? I’m regularly asked about the population of Liuzhou. Do you mean the city or the prefecture, which stretches all the way up past Sanjiang to the border with Hunan?

Anyway, the story concerns a man, Huang Chao who graduated from Beijing’s prestigious Tsinghua University and then decided to take up fish farming in Rongshui, Liuzhou Prefecture. The local peasantry tried to dissuade him, thinking it was a forlorn venture, but he insisted and took out a thirty-year lease on 13.33 hectares of fish-farm appropriate property – i.e water and an additional small area of land to build an office on.

His plan was unusual in that he had settled on the fish variety he wanted to farm, one that the locals didn’t know.

Huang Chao, who graduated from Tsinghua University in 1992 is farming Polyodon spathula, otherwise known as American or Mississippi Paddlefish. In Chinese they are 匙吻鲟 or simply 匙鲟 which translates as Spoon mouth sturgeon or spoon sturgeon. They are related to the sturgeon family, but are not true sturgeons.

Mr Huang and A “Spoon Sturgeon”

By all accounts, he is doing well. Each fish sells for around 80 yuan (approx $12 / £9 per jin (0.5 kg)). What the article fails to mention is that aside from selling the fish as meat, Huang is probably also separately selling the prized roe from the fish, which also fetches a good price. Perhaps Mr. Huang is keeping that information to himself, as his neighbours begin to see his success.

Paddlefish Roe

The paddlefish was introduced to China in 1988, specifically to be farmed. Around 4.5 million fertilized eggs or larvae are imported to China every year from Russia and The USA. Very fishy.

. This entry was posted on Friday, August 18th, 2017 at 3:04 pm and is filed under Food and Drink, Liuzhou News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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