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My notebook of the home and country丨Zengyuexiang: running towards the sea

December 10th 2018, Zhejiang Daily, the special issue of celebrating of

fortieth anniversary of open and reform


【the character card】

Zengyuexiang, who started fishing at 18 years old, has the indissoluble bound with fisheries. After graduating from the university, he became the principle of the first batch of Sino-foreign joint ventures. For 30 years, chasing the wave of the business sea, he has been on the frontline of opening towards to the outside world. Right now, Ocean Family, under his leadership, starts to invest in China (Zhejiang) Free Trade Pilot Area. Currently, Ocean Family has become one of companies which have the most complete industry chain and high return on investment of distant water fisheries in China.


Zengyuexiang (the left second) has the investigation about Ocean Family’s products on the market


In the office of Zengyuexiang, the general manager of Ocean Family, there is a transparent French window. Outside the window, it’s the endless sea. “The fishery enterprise should develop near the sea” is the faith in which he believes. At April last year, the headquarters of Ocean Family moved from Hangzhou to Zhoushan, and entered into China (Zhejiang) Free Trade Pilot Area, the forefront of the development of marine economy. 

Zhoushan Fisherman, Xiamen Fisheries College, Zhejiang Fisheries College, Zhouyang Fisheries Joint Venture Company, Zhoushan Second Fisheries Company, Zhoushan Xingye Corporation, Zhoushan Municipal Government, Zhejiang Ocean Fisheries Group Company, Ocean Family, Zengyuexiang's life track is closely related to the sea and fisheries.

Freedom, tolerance and openness, the spirit of the sea is deeply branded on the young man who once swam the sea and chased the waves. Till today, Zengyuexiang also uses his life to interpret everything the sea brought to him.


Facing the sea

Drive the development of fisheries by using foreign investment

In 1970, 18-year-old Zeng Yuexiang set his feet in fishing and chopped waves in a fishing boat. In 1975, he was recommended to study in the Fishing Department of Xiamen Fisheries College and then taught in Colleges.

In 1984, Zeng Yuexiang entered Zhoushan Second Fishery Company and became a fishery operator. This change opened his voyage of opening to the outside world. On this course, he really felt the tolerance and openness of the sea, and took part in it and practiced it.

With the acceleration of reform and opening, the introduction of foreign capital had become an important means of enterprise development. In 1985, Zhoushan Second Fisheries Company and Japan Ocean Fisheries Corporation (now Maruha Nichiro) established the "Sino-Japanese Joint Venture Zhouyang Fisheries Joint Venture Corporation".

"Yue Xiang, we are going to set up a joint venture company with a Japanese company. You will be the general manager." The leader told Zengyuexiang. For China's fishery industry, this was a milestone step in the process of opening to the outside world. China's fishery began to introduce foreign capital with a broad mind like the sea and seek development. On Zengyuexiang's shoulder, who was 33 at that moment, was a heavy load. "It's a challenge for performances, an opportunity to learn from foreign companies, and even a mission." Zengyuexiang recalled the scene of that year when he signed the appointment letter with calm, and his heart was already full of waves.

When he took the helm of the joint venture at his thirty years of age, Zengyuexiang faced questions from all sides. Under pressure, Zengyuexiang began to understand and learn the management of joint ventures. "The board of directors, all kind of laws and Japanese are all new things that have never been touched before." By learning day after night, he gradually found the way.

"We will not only introduce foreign capital, but also introduce advanced technology and scientific management." Using the cooperation with foreign companies, he had introduced tail-slip trawl fishing boats and mechanical netting technology successively. Under his management, Zhouyang Company's performance started boom.

In an era of opening, difficulties always accompanied with opportunities. In the 1990s, Zhoushan No. 2 Fishery Company was confronted with a business crisis while Zhouyang Company was on the right track. Zengyuexiang was also concurrently appointed as the general manager of Zhoushan Second Fisheries Company.

Zengyuexiang, who has accumulated many years of experience from the joint venture company, immediately adjusted the way of the development of the company and continued to focus on foreign investment. 

"Zhoushan Second Fishery Company will provide scientific and effective management methods, and speak based on the performance outcome." At the negotiation table, Zengyuexiang and the head of Maruha Nichiro sat opposite each other, analyzing the prospect and future of the cooperation of companies.

"Mr. Zeng's analysis is very professional, and our cooperation will be very pleasant." As a result of the negotiations, Zhoushan No. 2 Fisheries Company was transformed into a Sino-Japanese Joint Venture, Zhoushan Xingye Co., Ltd., in 1995. On the new stage, Zengyuexiang continued to attract foreign capital, and Xingye Corporation changed its face and regained its vitality.


Running to the sea

Drive the vessels to the farther sea

Xinshiji 111 and 112, the most advanced large tuna purse seine fishing vessel in the world, costing 170 million RMB per vessel. These are new vessels built by the Ocean Family of Wanxiang Sannong Group in 2015. It represents the highest level of international distant water fisheries in terms of equipment and efficiency.

Zengyuexiang said that if we want to go further into the sea, we need to build bigger vessels. The sea opens to everybody. Being able to "go out" to the farther sea is his lifelong pursuit.

In the 1990s, the tide of distant water fisheries came to Zhoushan. At that time, the seeds of marching to the ocean took root in Zengyuexiang's heart. 

"China's distant water fisheries started late. When we were aware that there were plenty of fishery resources on the high seas, many countries had been fishing there for many years." In 1995, Zengyuexiang randomly got the news from his South Korea fishing partners that Argentina has abundant squid resources on the high sea which is 200 nautical miles away.

"If the fishery wants to develop in the long term, it’s a must to go further into the ocean. Even if it can only be a tentative fishing, we must also make efforts to develop new fishing grounds." Zengyuexiang made up his mind to bring more abundant fishes back to China. 

Xingye's distant water fishing vessels departed from Zhoushan. After a month and a half of arduous voyage, the figure of Chinese fleet show up in the distant water fishing ground of the Southwest Atlantic Ocean. When fishing vessels, fully filled with the squid, returned to the port, many fishery companies at domestic coastal area such as Zhoushan followed the way. For a time, on the ocean, Chinese fishing vessels chased for fishing.

The trend of "going out" is unstoppable. In order to make Zhejiang distant water fisheries enterprises to go out to the sea more orderly, in 1999, with the approval of the Zhejiang Provincial Government, Zhejiang Ocean Fisheries Group Co., Ltd. was established. Zengyuexiang was appointed the general manager of the company from the position of the vice mayor of Zhoushan municipal government who was in charge of Fisheries. In 2002, Wanxiang Sannong Group controled Zhejiang Ocean Fisheries Group Co., Ltd. and Zengyuexiang jumped out of the scheme and became a professional manager.

"What we need is your management team. Manage the enterprise well." When Luguanqiu patted Zengyuexiang's shoulder to say this, Zengyuexiang had already begun to image how to drive the vessels farther. 

In 2009, Wanxiang Sannong Group decided to setup Ocean Family under the umbrella of Zhejiang Ocean Fisheries Group Co., Ltd. Zengyuexiang, who treats the sea as the home, has found the pivot point to leverage the development of the whole industry chain of the seafood. Under his leadership, the fleet of Ocean Family has gone steadily and farther.

During the 10th 5-Year Planning period, Ocean Family designed and built 18 large-scale super-frozen tuna longline fishing vessels, which filled the gap of same category of fishing vessel in China. In 2004, four large tuna purse seine vessels set out for the ocean, achieving the breakthrough of tuna purse seining vessels in Zhejiang Province. Nowadays, the fleet of Ocean Family has been active in the Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean and Southwest Atlantic Ocean all the year round, bringing more than 50,000 tons of self-catching fishes back to China every year.


Embrace the sea

Drive the action of “move the fishes on the shore” to the end

"Ocean Family will let domestic consumers eat the best fish species in the world. This batch of salmon is just the beginning." On August 29th 2017, an airplane landed at Xiaoshan International Airport, carrying in a batch of Norwegian salmon, which had been isolated from domestic consumers for many years, after Ocean Family signed an import contract with Norwegian Cermaq, the world's second largest salmon company.

Zengyuexiang did not breach his promise. Cuban lobster, Chilean king crab, Argentine red shrimp, Norwegian salmon, batches of seafood from all over the world were shipped back to China from abroad. Zengyuexiang, who traded fresh fishes for foreign exchange in the late 1980s, is now working hard to meet the growing material needs of the people who want eat good fishes. In 2017, the total import and export revenue of Ocean Family’s seafood exceeded US$300 million. From January to October this year, the total import and export revenue hit US$278 million, an increase of 16% over the last year.

China's opening door policy will only be going further. "Consumers in different countries have different and developing tastes. For example, the fish that Chinese like to eat may have shifted from offshore to ocean, and can only be caught in natural fishing grounds in places such as South America." Zengyuexiang's goal now is to let the world's fresh fishes jump onto the world tables and realize the global allocation of fish resources. On September 20th 2018, the Ocean Family signed a contract with Kiribati, the Oceanic State, to conclude a comprehensive fishery cooperation project which Ocean Family invests in Kiribati for fishing, processing and aquaculture. At Zhoushan National Base of Distant Water Fisheries, the Ocean Family Industrial Park of Marine Quality Products has begun to plan. And after putting into operation, the industrial park will be China's largest comprehensive processing base for tuna, with the planning processing scale of 150,000 tons of raw tuna fishes, which not only meets the rapid development of domestic demand for deep-processing and fast consumable products, but also can face more and larger international markets.

On June 27th this year, Luweiding, chairman of Wanxiang Group, donated all the shares of Wanxiang Sannong, the parent company of Ocean Family, to establish the "Luguanqiu Sannong Fuzhi Foundation". Zengyuexiang, whose heart is linked with the sea, also has a heart to fulfill his social responsibility. "The development of fisheries relies on fishermen. As a subsidiary of Wanxiang Sannong Group, Ocean Family will strive to fulfill the mission of "Luguanqiu Sannong Fuzhi Foundation" and contribute to the improvement of fishermen's living standards and the development of Chinese fisheries."

Luweiding told Zeng Yuexiang that drive the action of “move the fishes on the shore” to the end. "We should not only move the fishes on the shore, but also move good fishes on the shore, and further make the good fishes on the shore become good products and sell them to the global market." Following the people's yearning for a better life, riding the freedom, tolerance and openness of the sea, Zengyuexiang drives Ocean Family, this giant vessel, to continue the farther voyage.


During the CFSE, Ocean Family’s booth attracts lots of attention


【Observer’s note】

Continue the writing of blue legend

Ocean and distant water fisheries are accompanied with Zengyuexiang's life: give up the teaching job in Colleges, return to the sea and devote himself to the development of Zhoushan fisheries; use foreign capital to develop enterprises and inject vitality into fisheries enterprises; jump out of the scheme, chase waves on the sea, and bring fresh fishes back to China; build vessels, pull out anchors, sail to the ocean, and open the global layout of Ocean Family...

Zengyuexiang's life is a life of "restless". And this “restless” made him become the experiencer and practitioner of the fact that Zhejiang fisheries enterprises voyage from China to the world and Zhejiang fisheries go from inshore to the ocean. In the sea where risks and opportunities coexist, Zengyuexiang is accompanied by numerous Zhejiang distant water fisheries practitioners. From managers to fishermen, these people, whose generations are accompanied by the sea, ride the waves of reform and opening, and chase the waves, moving forward boldly.

In 2017, the production volume of the distant water fisheries in Zhejiang Province was 495,000 tons, with a catching value of 6.03 billion RMB. Among them, the production volume of squid fishery was 328,000 tons and the catching value was 3.61 billion RMB, which accounted for two-thirds of the production volume and catching value of squid fishery in China, being ranked the first position in the China.

China's opening door policy will only be going further. The Nineteenth National Congress of Chinese Communist Party proposed to speed up the construction of a powerful marine country. In the new era, the wave riders, represented by Zengyuexiang, will continue to uphold the freedom, tolerance and openness of the sea, struggling for the success, and continue to write the blue legend that Zhejiang distant water fisheries practice the opening to the outside world.

上一篇:Mr. Zhangmingchao, the principal of the Organization Department of Zhoushan, and his group visit Ocean Family and have the discussion
下一篇:Ocean Family’s canned tuna series products win the gold award of the Agriculture Expo
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