The emergence of commercial marine ranching in Eastern China: an assessment of institutional frameworks




Wang, Guodong

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Based on research showing the serious environmental damage associated with conventional aquaculture, coastal marine ranching has been promoted by the Chinese government as an ecological and environmentally friendly way to produce aquatic products and simultaneously restore the marine environment. However, marine ranching is a general concept and there are significant differences among the three main types. This study initially focuses on commercial marine ranching to distinguish it from other types by identifying its unique features, functions and goals. Examining institutional frameworks of commercial marine ranching operations reveals the evolving interactions and interrelations between key actors in the network. The analysis adopts a modified social network theory approach that incorporates Chinese guanxi culture in a case study of the White Dragon Islet marine ranching project to research commercial marine ranching in China. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to collect details from each group of key actors, including the private sector, government, and local communities. Key outcomes of the research include developing a better understanding of the types of marine ranching in China and important insights into changing relationships developed from acquaintance to intimacy and then to trustworthiness within the institutional framework of a successful commercial marine ranching project. The thesis concludes by highlighting key practical implications for government policy and for commercial marine ranching practitioners to improve the implementation of such operations in China.



Marine Ranching, Institutional Frameworks, China Fisheries, Social Network Theory, Chinese Guanxi Culture