HAIKOU, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Construction of China's first tropical sea ranch began on Tuesday in Sanya, a coastal resort city in Hainan Province, said an official with the Sanya Ocean and Fisheries bureau.
The aquaculture project, located at Wuzhizhou Island resort, is funded through an initial investment of 20 million yuan (about 3.08 million U.S dollars) by Hainan Sea-View Paradise, a private company, according to Duan Deyu, deputy director with the bureau.
The project is expected to improve the marine ecology by installing artificial reefs to increase marine breeding and releasing, Duan said.
Approximately 18,000 cubic meters of artificial reefs, which will cover an area of 1,000 mu (about 66.6 hectares) will be installed on the sides of Wuzhizhou Island, and audio system will be added to attract and manage tropical fish, he said.
The bureau anticipates the sea ranch will attract substantial numbers of tourists who want to enjoy the ecology.
Japan initiated the technology for sea ranching in 1970s, which aims to increase fishery resources and enhance the environment by rearing fish and shellfish under artificially controlled conditions.
The Sayna city government is seeking investors to provide about 265 million yuan (about 40.81 million U.S dollars) to build eight more sea ranches in the next ten years.
Hainan hopes to become a world-renowned island recreation and vacation resort. The Chinese government announced in January 2010 that the tropical island will be built into a top international tourism destination by 2020.