Project of Establishing a Multi-stakeholder Aquacultural Waste Management System for Reducing Land-based Pollution in Sanjiang Bay-Yanzhou River Estuary
Project of Establishing a Multi-stakeholder Aquacultural Waste Management System for Reducing Land-based Pollution in Sanjiang Bay-Yanzhou River Estuary
Baseline information:
The estuary area of Sanjiang Bay-Yanzhou River is located at the bottom of Dongzhaigang Lagoon in Haikou City. It is a complex coastal wetland that combines lagoons, salt marshes, coastal zones, mangroves, estuaries and other ecosystems. The sea areas and part of the land areas are located in the Dongzhai Port Mangrove National Nature Reserve. The Dongzhai Port Mangrove National Nature Reserve has been included in the List of Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance since 1992. The Nature Reserve has the most complete mangrove ecosystem and the most productive and biologically diverse ecosystem.
Relying on the good water quality of Dongzhai Port, the well-managed farmland and the complete infrastructure of Sanjiang Farm, the Sanjiang Bay-Yanzhou River estuary area has been developing aquaculture since the late 1980s and is one of the birthplaces of Hainan's marine aquaculture industry. After more than 30 years of development, the aquaculture area in the estuary area had once been more than 12,000 acres. It is one of the largest contiguous marine aquaculture areas in Hainan province. The area contributes to the development of the local economy and society, and largely increases the income of farmers. However, the chronically poor developing management has also brought certain ecological and environmental problems. For example, some aquaculture ponds are suspected of occupying mangrove forests or coastal wetlands, long discharge of aquaculture sewage is suspected of polluting the water quality of the bottom of the Dongzhai Bay, which has a weak water exchange capacity. The Yanzhou River, which flows through many residential areas, agricultural and fishery gathering areas, is affected by non-point source and point source pollution on both sides of the riverbank and results in occasionally not up to standard water quality. Changes in ecology and environment are also affecting the production and life of residents. Due to the continuous degradation of water quality, in recent years, local farmers have changed from high-profit shrimp farming to tilapia farming, which has lower water quality requirements but also has lower profits. The income of farmers had seen an obvious decline. Some sections of the Yanzhou River are seriously polluted, which also affects the local landscape and the quality of life of residents along the riverbank.
To effectively improve the ecological environment of the area, the local government has implemented or is implementing several measures. One is to carry out the ecological restoration of mangroves and implement the "Blue Bay" project to return ponds to forests at the edge of the mangrove reserve. The replanted area of mangrove forests has reached 4,000 acres. Second, the government is planning to build a water treatment station for aquaculture sewage, the local sewage would be collected and processed properly. Third, setting up Sanjiang Wetland Park. About 7,000 acres of aquaculture ponds would be included in the park for further ecological transformation. The joint scientific research institutions will conduct pilot studies for blue carbon in the park. Mangroves are planned to be planted in the pond areas and the newly planted mangroves would be used as carbon sinks in the carbon emissions trading market; the funds raised from the project will be used to support the local ecology recovery and livelihood improvement.

Main problems:
1. Through the preliminary investigation, the Alliance found the water quality of Yanzhou River estuary was affected by agricultural planting and processing, livestock and poultry breeding, aquaculture, domestic sewage, land-sourced garbage and other discharge into the river (The water quality of the river is required to be Type IV surface water, and the water quality of the sea area near the estuary is required to be class II seawater). The local government is taking various measures to enhance environmental care, such as returning ponds to forests and establishing multiple sewage treatment stations in aquaculture areas. As regards the land-sourced garbage, garbage stations have been set up in residential areas to collect them regularly. However, due to the distance between the aquaculture areas and the poor traffic condition in the pond area, it is difficult for the garbage transfer vehicles to enter the aquaculture areas. Therefore, the production and domestic waste in the aquaculture areas have not been included in the scope of local sanitation collection and treatment. Except for a small number of wastes with recycling value is collected, most of the other aquaculture production and domestic waste has not been collected or transported properly. Most of the aquaculture farmers use the method of incineration or discard to the surrounding breeding ponds to dispose of the garbage; the incineration residue, the discarded feed packaging bags and other garbage may enter the river channel randomly which increase the risks of polluting the water quality of the Yanzhou River. Moreover, tilapia as the main local breeding species is mainly for export. The export requires the aquaculture areas to properly dispose of the garbage. Once the farmers are found not to properly dispose of the garbage in a standard manner, there will be a risk of losing export qualifications, which will directly affect the livelihoods of farmers. Hence, the local government and farmers are willing to collect and process aquaculture waste, but they are affected by relatively scattered production areas, irregular waste generation, poor traffic conditions, and high collection and transportation costs. There is still no suitable solution.
2. Affected by the degradation of local water quality and various aquatic diseases, inputs such as medicines and animal health products in aquaculture is commonly used, and that leads to a risk of food safety and environmental pollution problems caused by the improper use of inputs. Due to the lack of systematic investigation, whether the use of these inputs meets the requirements of relevant regulations, and whether violations are common and how severe the problem is unclear, it is temporarily difficult to accurately tell the condition and design effective management and guidance.
3. Affected by changes in the natural environment, policy adjustments in environmental protection and industrial management, the local aquaculture is undergoing a period of drastic changes and adjustments driven by government regulation. However, most aquaculture practitioners are self-employed and are accustomed to working alone. There is a lack of cooperation between farmers, the awareness of actively communicating with grassroots governments and communities, and a lack of an effective mechanism for them to participate in the public affairs of the community. Thus, it increases the difficulties for the farmers to adapt to and cooperate with the government’s environmental governance, transfer production mode, adjust production accordingly and other social governance. It also may increase the overall operating cost of the community.
4. Most local farmers carry out production with husbands and wives as a unit. However, due to technical and physical limitations, women's actual contribution to aquaculture is relatively limited. There is a surplus of time and energy, and also a waste of human resources. It also has an impact on women's personal value identity and the balance of discourse power within the family.
Activity 1.1
Visiting the site, investigating the current status of aquaculture waste collection and treatment at project sites, and analysing existing problems.
Activity 1.2.
Stakeholders inside and outside the aquaculture community have negotiated to create a joint aquaculture waste collection and transportation plan, and formulating a link between the aquaculture waste collection and transportation and the existing waste collection and transfer system.
Activity 1.3.
Coordinate and implement the infrastructure, personnel and mechanism required for the collection and transportation of aquaculture waste; communicate, promote, coordinate and supervise the implementation of the collection and transportation system.
Activity 2.1.
Based on the aquaculture waste collection and transportation system, find suitable waste recyclers and methods, promote the recycle of aquaculture input waste such as feed packaging bags, aquatic veterinary medicines and animal health products packaging containers, and conduct classification statistics.
Activity 2.2.
Compile and analyse statistical data, evaluate the compliance of the use of aquaculture inputs at project sites, and propose measures to improve the sustainable production level of small and medium aquaculture practitioners by standardize the use of aquaculture inputs.
Activity 2.3.
Sort out and distribute policy compilations or guidelines that regulate the use of aquaculture inputs.
Identify the activists in the aquaculture waste management operation, focus on identifying the female activists among them. Organize learning and operating group, focus on establishing a learning mechanism for the ability to co-create and implement the waste collection and transportation system. See members of the learning group as the main human resources to carry out project-related activities.
Activity 3.2
Conduct aquaculture community publicity activities on garbage disposal, standardized use of aquaculture inputs, aquatic disease prevention and control, and healthy aquaculture technology.
Activity 4.1
Cooperate with the grassroots government and farmers to regularly evaluate the garbage collection of the pilot farmers and the environmental sanitation of the aquaculture area.
Activity 4.2
Summarize the construction of aquaculture waste collection and transportation system and the experience of aquaculture communities participating in environmental governance, and conduct knowledge sharing and diffusion through investigation and discussion, media dissemination, case promotion, etc.

Anticipated outcomes:
1.1 Find out the regulation pattern of aquaculture waste generation in the pilot area and gain a knowledge of the baseline of aquaculture waste pollution.
1.2 Enhance the coordination ability for public affairs of aquaculture farmers, establish an aquaculture waste management mechanism involving multiple stakeholders.
1.3 The aquaculture waste collection and transportation system can operate effectively, and the aquatic waste at the project site is effectively collected to avoid the discharge of aquaculture waste into the sea.
2.1 Contact with recyclers of aquaculture waste, and have a preliminary understanding of the types, quantities, recycling methods, and destinations of aquaculture wastes.
2.2 Preliminarily gain a understanding of the pattern of the use of aquaculture inputs, and provide data basis, knowledge support and operation suggestions for the subsequent practice of improving the food safety and environmental performance of small and medium aquaculture practitioners.
2.3 Improve the awareness and the knowledge of aquaculture farmers for the standardized use of aquaculture inputs.
3.1 With regular learning and communication, the organization, coordination, analysis, and discussion abilities of key personnel in the project could have been improved; and the abilities could have been used in actual baseline surveys, data analysis, plan formulation, publicity and other project-related activities.
3.2 Strengthen the small and medium aquaculture practitioners’ knowledge and perception towards environmental protection and sustainable production.
4.1 Increase the government and farmers’ recognition of the effectiveness of aquaculture waste management operation.
4.2 The experience of pilot project is widely disseminated and shared, providing a basis for the promotion of the project model.
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Project Snapshot

Hainan Tilapia Sustainability Alliance
Area Of Work:
Grant Amount:
US$ 0.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 72,507.16
Co-Financing in-Kind:
Project Number:
Currently under execution
Project Characteristics and Results
Promoting Public Awareness of Global Environment
Activity 2.3:Sort out and distribute policy compilations or guidelines that regulate the use of aquaculture inputs. It would improve the awareness and the knowledge of aquaculture farmers for the standardized use of aquaculture inputs.
Emphasis on Sustainable Livelihoods
Improper garbage disposal methods are one of the main threats to the local estuary wetland ecology and bring a certain inconsistency with the local aquaculture area. If not spontaneous rectify or actively conduct self-discipline and improve the existing condition, more problems with garbage disposal would occur and negatively affect the livelihoods of residents who rely mainly on brackishwater aquaculture and the local environment. Provide the farmers with equipment that meets the aquaculture certification standards to help them pass the annual review of breeding records and improve their livelihoods.
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SGP Country office contact

Ms. Yi Liu
86 10 85320731
Ms. Meijia Lu


No. 2 Liangmahe Nanlu
Beijing, Chaoyang, 100600
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