List from pre-reform era: manager

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 September, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 September, 2005, 12:00am

The health authorities' list of freshwater fish farms in Guangdong is badly outdated, the vice-manager of Guangzhou's biggest seafood market said yesterday.

Guo Huawei, who helps run the Huangsha market, said the list of registered exporters stemmed from the pre-reform era in the 1980s.

Some of the listed fish farms were named after places, Mr Guo said. 'Farms named after places were probably government-affiliated companies in the old days. Nearly all fish farms are privately run now and they have personal names designed to be a good omen.'

He said most mainland local governments ran affiliated enterprises before the reform. The names and entities remained, even though daily operations were contracted out to the private sector.

Some industry players said exporting rights were to blame for the error's in the Guangdong government's list.

They said most of the fish companies with export rights were state-owned in the past but they no longer bred fish. These units retained their export rights but were farms existing in name only.

They said many dealers bought supplies from smaller fish farms and paid service fees to the shell companies to use their name to export to Hong Kong and overseas.

One freshwater breeder in Maoming said: 'That practice is very common in the fish exporting business. Many fishmongers come to my farms to get fish.'

The breeder also said that most fish farms in Guangdong were small operators with fewer than 10 hectares.