LOCALS looking for fresh seafood in future will not have to go too far. In fact, they can enjoy the sea life without leaving Shanghai, with a fisherman's wharf project taking shape on the city's northeast Changxing Island.
Changxing, with ambitious plans to become an ocean equipment base with a large state-owned shipbuilding company moving in, hopes to strike a balance between the heavy manufacturing industry and its ecological system.
Jiang Yaxin, director of Changxing Island's development authority, said yesterday that the island, once comprising fishing villages and orange farmlands, will gradually develop into "the backyard of Shanghai."
Local residents will be able to drive to the island in 45 minutes to take a bite on the fresh seafood from the port and enjoy the scenery as early as 2014, officials said.
The island is linked to Shanghai's downtown area by a tunnel opened in 2009 when the island began moving earth for infrastructure projects.
Locals now prefer to go to neighboring Zhejiang or Jiangsu provinces, close to large fishing grounds, to enjoy fresh seafood.
The new port will be Shanghai's only national first-tier fishing base and it will handle fishing vessels, trade in fisheries products and also catering business.
"City dwellers will be able to rent a boat for the pleasure of fishing at the mouth of the Yangtze River Delta region in the future," said Wang Longhua, an official with the development authority.
In the long run, large docks will be built to accommodate oceangoing vessels which can bring ocean products, like tuna and salmon, to the dinner table.
It's estimated that the annual fisheries product turnout will be 120,000 tons from the port stretching along an 800-meter-long coast line with a tourism belt spanning 1 kilometer. The city's biggest "kingdom of redwood," a forest park, will be created on the island, together with belts of green areas, to separate the tourist sites from the industry zones.
No work has started as yet though the blueprints for the plans are ready.