High-tech reels in big progress for marine sector

By Chen Meiling | (China Daily)| Updated : 2018-09-19

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Shandong is using the latest technology to extract the most from its vast marine resources in order to continue to develop and promote strong growth in related industries, said Liu Jiayi, Party chief of the province at a recent government work conference.

East China's Shandong province is home to China's biggest peninsula and has a coastline which equates to one sixth of the country's total, which means that marine resources play a large role in the economy of the entire province, according to Liu.

The province has three large-scale ports in the cities of Qingdao, Rizhao and Yantai, each with a capacity of more than 400 million metric tons per year, according to port statistics. More than 50 percent of China's local high-level scientists in the marine industry are located in Shandong.

In 2017, the output value of the marine industry in Shandong reached 1.48 trillion yuan ($216 billion), accounting for 19.1 percent of the nation's total.

That figure is expected to reach 2.3 trillion yuan by 2020, making up 23 percent of Shandong's total GDP, data from the local government showed.

The complete industrial chain for marine industry in Shandong covers marine life sciences, high-end equipment, seawater desalination and green marine chemical engineering.

China Yantai CIMC Raffles, the nation's largest semi-submersible marine platform manufacturer, built the world's largest maritime drilling rig, Blue Whale 2, at the end of 2017.

The rig can operate as deep as 3,000 meters under the sea and 15,200-meter deep, according to Wang Jianzhong, president of the company.

Its brother, Blue Whale 1, was the first in China to extract combustible ice in the South China Sea.

Recently, an ultra-large cargo ship for transporting iron ore between Brazil and China, was launched at the Qingdao West-Coast Economic New Area of Shandong.

The 400,000-metric-ton vessel, built by Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group Co Ltd, has a carrying capacity equivalent to 6,666 freight train carriages, Xinhua reported.

In the marine biomedicine sector, Shandong has more than 80 percent of the country's scientific resources. It has made great achievements in medicines that can help tumor-related and cardiovascular diseases.

Shandong Xinfa Fishery Group catches and processes tuna from the Indian Ocean that is then exported all over the world.

The company has optimized its output by processing leftover bones and skin to produce collagen, which has a high market value and can be used in a range of consumer health related products.

Now the price can be increased over 100 times after producing collagen using biological technology, Gao Feiyue, project manager of the company told local media outlet Dazhong Daily.

According to the government's plan to build an even stronger marine economy, the province expects to add more diversity to its marine resources, conserve and improve the marine environment, and create a more open marine industry.

To realize these goals, the province has initiated 10 programs, including promotions for technological innovation, ecological protection, development of emerging industries, upgrading of traditional marine industries, revitalization of marine culture and the improvement of ocean governance, according to the plan.