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Pingyi of Shandong: Using Hot Spring Water as a “Medium” to Bring Sturgeon into the Yimeng Mountains

In the warm waters of May, with gentle breezes and moistening effect, it is the perfect season for agricultural activities. In the fish farming base of Kun’ao Fishery Co., Ltd., located at the foot of the Yimeng Mountains in Pingyi County, Linyi City, Shandong Province, more than 110 standardized fish ponds are about to witness the grouping of sturgeon and sturgeon fish.

“When the sturgeons reach a weight of three to four kilograms, we need to start the process of separating the males and females,” said Tong Guofa, a technician with a strong Northeastern accent, standing by the pond.

The town of Wenshui has abundant underground hot springs that maintain a constant temperature of around 17-18 degrees Celsius throughout the year. The water quality is excellent, making it highly suitable for sturgeon farming. In early 2021, Wenshui Town revitalized the unused water puddles in Yongqing Village and introduced Kun’ao Fishery Co., Ltd. to establish the Sturgeon and Sturgeon Fish Technology Breeding Base. Over the course of more than three years, tens of thousands of sturgeons and sturgeon fish have been gradually brought here, opening the door to the “Wenshui Industry” and igniting the flames of rural revitalization.

Good water breeds good fish, and sturgeon leads to prosperity. Inside the base, red slogans are particularly eye-catching, providing a vivid interpretation of the “Wenshui Industry” code. “The Phase I project of the industrial park has been completed and put into operation, with a total release of 130,000 fry of 12 fish species. Through breeding, the current stock has reached over 150,000, making it the largest sturgeon farming base in Shandong Province,” proudly stated Chen Zhaogang, the chairman of the company.

In recent years, Wenshui Town has fully leveraged its local hot spring resources and developed the aquaculture industry, soilless garlic sprout cultivation, and deep processing industries, achieving significant social and economic benefits. With a long-term perspective on building an industrial chain, Wenshui Town has completed the renovation of 120 mu (8 hectares) of land surrounding the fish ponds. It is preparing to cooperate with Zhejiang Quzhou Xunlong Aquatic Science and Technology Development Co., Ltd. to develop a modern fishery industrial park. Construction is underway for a 15,000-square-meter research and development center, as well as fish roe and raw fish processing workshops.

Soon, a modern industrial park led by sturgeon farming will rise here. After all the projects are put into operation, it is expected to generate 30 million yuan in tax revenue and create over 100 job opportunities.

Industrial revitalization is of utmost importance for rural revitalization. Starting from fish filleting and caviar processing, the seamless connection of the entire sturgeon farming industry chain, from fish ponds to dining tables, from primary products to end consumers, will fully activate the “Wenshui Industry” in Pingyi County. It will open up a prosperous path for rural revitalization and increased income for farmers.

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