From left: Fish breeding expert Jin Wanku examines a fish in a breeding pool of the Tianjin Freshwater Fish Genetic Breeding Laboratory. Jin checks the health of fry at his laboratory. [Photos provided to China Daily]
Every day at 5 am, 90-year-old Jin Wanku, a passionate fish breeder living in Ninghe district of Tianjin, gets up to check on the baby fish in his breeding pool, regardless of his age, the weather or the ongoing epidemic.
Jin holds a number of titles, including director of the Tianjin Cyprinus and Crucian Genetic Breeding Center of the Ministry of the Rural and Agricultural Affairs and of the Tianjin Freshwater Fish Genetic Breeding Laboratory, to name a few.
“Examining fish and observing their growth is something I’ve done my whole life,” he said, adding that since the 1950s, he has been conducting research into genetic breeding, new breeds and the promotion of quality fish.
To date, Jin has 12 national-level patents, and the number of fish bred as a result of his research amounts to 6 billion a year, according to the Guangming Daily newspaper.
His first batch dates back to 1956. While working at a fish farming organization, he was given 3,000 fish fry.
Thanks to the efforts of Jin and his colleagues, those 3,000 fry produced over 1 million offspring by 1961, and the farm became the first of its kind in North China.
Since the 1990s, he has introduced 54 varieties of fish from around the country to Tianjin, where he has helped cultivate them, and promoted his methods nationwide.
The Jinxinwu Crucian, a popular edible household fish, first hit the market after 18 years of research, and better quality farmed fish are now produced nationwide as a result of his efforts.
“A quality fish variety takes decades to produce,” Jin said. “Channeling the energy and experience of the research is key to success.”
He has made hundreds of attempts to breed hybrid fish. Many failed, but he kept going.
His pool is home to species from different parts of China, including the provinces of Heilongjiang, Henan, Jiangxi and Yunnan.
“My outlook is quite simple. I just want to farm quality fish that are easy to raise, good to sell and delicious to eat,” Jin said.