Large-scale koi breeding center open in Maogang

The largest koi fine breeding center in Shanghai had opened in Songjiang's Maogang Town, providing a boost for rural tourism in the district.
Yue Cheng / Ti Gong

A man carries a big koi at Maogang koi breeding center. 

The largest koi fine breeding center in Shanghai had opened in Songjiang’s Maogang Town, providing a boost for rural tourism in the district.

The breeding center at No. 8 Huahui Road occupies an area of 25 mu (1.67 hectares) and has 11 koi varieties bred in different ponds.

Koi, a top-grade pet fish, is nicknamed “live gem in water” and “swimming artwork.” It is believed to bring good luck and good fortune. Koi, or jinli, became a buzzword in China in 2018 with pictures of koi being forwarded online to wish good luck.

US$1.84m at auction

Japan, the world’s leading producer of koi, has mature koi breeding technologies and facilities, and produces a large number of high-quality and pure-blood koi. The world’s dearest koi sold at auction for 203 million yen (US$1.84 million) in Japan in October last year, said Ma Xin, chief of the breeding center.

Carp, the ancester of koi, originated in China. Records say the earliest large-scale koi breeding was in the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) in China. The fish, because of its brilliant color and ease of raising, was introduced to Japan and favored by that country’s aristocrats.

“China is the home of the carp, it can sure be a good place to raise koi,” Ma thought when he began studying koi 15 years ago.

To fulfill his dream, Ma visited countries such as Japan and Malaysia, and introduced technologies, equipment and koi varieties back to China.

Indoor workshops

The new center has reached an agreement with some research institutes to put academic achievements into practice.

“Our center has worked out a set of mature technologies in breeding imported fish. We are going to explore how to breed our own koi variety. We hope we can have our own koi brand some day,” said Ma.

The koi breeding center has five indoor workshops which include a quarantine room, breeding room and exhibition room. It also has 18 outdoor breeding ponds and fry selection ponds. Koi exhibitions and auctions will be held at the center to promote the culture.

Ma said he selected the site in Maogang Town because of its clean water, air and good quality of soil. Kois are very picky when adapting themselves to new environment.

Yue Cheng / Ti Gong

People watch kois at a pond in Maogang koi breeding center.

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