Blog Entry Written by Team: Red Swampy Crayfish (Procambarus clarkii)
Team Members: Sasha Main (Queen’s), Zhizhou He (Fudan), and Zihan Dong (Waterloo)
Weather: Sunny, Humid, Temp 30-35 degrees Celsius
This morning was an early 5:40 am departure to the Shanghai train station, and then to Wuhan via fast train. When we left many students were tired and we were a bit delayed due to a couple forgotten cell phones. Once we arrived at the train station there was great “people watching” and we purchased much needed coffee. We joked around while waiting, particularly at a poorly named clothing store in the train station called “Teenie Weenie”. We boarded the fast train around 8:20am and many team groups started working on their seminar presentations. We also made sure to observe the changes of landscape as we were on the train. Shanghai was very developed but once we passed Nanjing there was much more land allocated to agriculture and aquaculture- specifically fish culture ponds. Eventually the landscape turned to forested mountains with the winding river, and many rural areas complete with dirt roads. In between opening of tunnels we observed large fields of solar panels.
Once we arrived in Wuhan, we boarded a bus to travel to the CAS Hydrobiology Institute, also known as the Yangtze Cetacean Breeding and Research Center. On our bus ride, we passed over the Yangtze river which looked very brown and had many cargo ships. We got rerouted and walked through a lesser developed area of Wuhan to reach the Hydrobiology facility. We were warmly welcomed with introductions from Hao Yujiang and a guest speech on the research facility’s initiatives by Liu Xin. They informed us that the Yangtze River Dolphin (Lipotes vexillifer) had many population stresses due to human activity, such as shipping, pollution, fishing and hydro projects, leading to its functional extinction in 2007.
一到武汉，我们就上了巴士，前往中国科学院水生生物研究所（又名长江鲸类繁育研究中心）。乘车通过武汉第二长江大桥时，我们看到泥沙浑浊的长江上泊有很多货船。下车后，我们步行穿过武汉一个较不发达的地段，到达了水生生物研究所。我们受到了郝玉江的热情接待并聆听了刘欣关于研究中心倡议的嘉宾演讲。他们告诉我们，由于人类活动，长江白暨豚(Lipotes vexillifer)面临许多种群压力，如航运、污染、渔业和水利工程等。这些压力导致其在2007年功能性灭绝。江豚(Neophocaena asiaeorientalis)也面临着类似的压力，其数量从1991年的2550只减少到了2012年的505只。为了拯救江豚，该机构建立了许多自然保护区和圈养繁殖计划。保护区在增加江豚数量方面取得了成功，但是在过去的22年里，圈养繁殖计划只繁殖了两只健康的江豚。关于在江豚育种计划中面临的挑战——如基因库的缩减和亚种的使用可能——有一些有趣的争论。总之，公众意识、政府关注和非政府组织的参与有望继续帮助江豚保护它们的自然栖息地。演讲结束后，我们很高兴能够看到属于圈养繁殖计划中一些江豚。它们很漂亮，这是我们这天行程的最大亮点。
They informed us that the Yangtze River Dolphin had many population stresses due to human activity, such as shipping, pollution, fishing and hydro projects, leading to its extinction in 2007. The finless porpoise faces similar stresses, and the population has declined from 2550 in 1991 to 505 in 2012. In order to attempt to save the finless porpoise the institution has created many natural reserves and a captive breeding program. The reserves have been successful in increasing them, but the captive breeding program has only produced two healthy finless porpoises in the last 22 years. There was interesting discussion of the challenges to come in the breeding program such as reduced gene pool and the possible use of sub-species. Altogether, there’s hope that public awareness, government concern, and involvement of NGOs will continue to help the finless porpoises and protect their natural habitat. After the presentation, we had the pleasure of seeing a few of the finless porpoises in the captive breeding program. They were beautiful, and it was the highlight of our day.
After the presentation, we had the pleasure of seeing a few of the finless porpoises in the captive breeding program. They were beautiful, and it definitely was the highlight of our day.
That evening we presented our seminar on aquaculture in China and Canada. The team ‘finless porpoise’ also presented on invasive species, featuring case studies on Asian Carp, Spartina alternifora, and Clarias patradus. Overall, it was an unforgettable day filled with lots of new information and lots of laughter.