China is a key player in global production, consumption, and trade of seafood. Given this dominance, Chinesechoices regarding what seafood to eat, and how and where to source it, are increasingly important—forChina, and for the rest of the world. This perspective explores this issue using a transdisciplinary approachand discusses plausible trajectories and implications for assumptions of future modeling efforts and globalenvironmental sustainability and seafood supply. We outline China’s 2030 projected domestic seafood pro-duction and consumption through an examination of available statistics, and qualitatively evaluate these inrelation to key stated Chinese policy targets, consumer trends, and dominant political narratives. Our anal-ysis shows that by 2030 China is likely to see seafood consumption outstrip domestic production. To meetthe seafood gap China will likely attempt to increase domestic freshwater and offshore aquaculture, increaseseafood imports, possibly expand the distant water fishing industry, and invest in seafood productionabroad.
Tabitha Grace Mallory is an affiliate faculty member of the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies and specializes in Chinese foreign and environmental policy. She is currently conducting research on China and global ocean governance and has published work on China’s fisheries and oceans policy. Dr. Mallory is CEO of the consulting firm China Ocean Institute and has consulted for organizations such as the United Nations Foundation, the World Wildlife Fund, the World Bank, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). She previously served as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program, and has also worked for The National Bureau of Asian Research and for the U.S. government. Dr. Mallory holds a Ph.D. (with distinction) and an M.A. in international relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), a certificate from the Hopkins-Nanjing Center, and a B.A. in international studies and Mandarin Chinese from the University of Washington. She serves on the board of directors of the China Club of Seattle and is a member of the Washington State China Relations Council.