By M. Justin Wilkinson, Texas State University, Jacobs Contract at NASA-JSC;
An astronaut aboard the International Space Station focused near the Sun’s reflection point to shoot this photograph of grid-patterned fish farms on the coast of China’s northeast province of Liaoning.
The aquaculture basins have been built out from the wooded coast to a distance of nearly 6 kilometers (4 miles). Fish farms have been constructed at many points along the provincial coastline, but this group of basins facing the Yellow Sea is the largest. (Liaoning Province is the sixth in China in terms of aquaculture production.)
The basins are built on shallow seabeds, mudflats, and bays. Islands, such as the one at image center, often help anchor the construction of basins. Outer barriers protect the basins from winter storms. Water flow lines and a ship wake are visible near the river estuary.
Most aquaculture products are marketed live in China, with less than 5 percent processed for local or overseas markets. Shellfish, a traditional marine food source, still dominates the marine species production (77 percent), with sea fish a distant second (5 percent). About 4.3 million people are involved in freshwater and marine fish production in China (as of 2007).