Last full day in Shanghai – August 13th
Today is our last full day in China before we return (Canadian students) or go (Chinese students) to Canada, where will spend a week at the Queen’s University Biological Station. We still had course activities and in the morning after breakfast visited local marine museum at the East China Sea Fisheries Research Institute, which although small, had an excellent collection of sea creatures spanning rare species and fish and various invertebrates from various parts of the ocean. The collection incuded a specimen of one of the rarest fish in the world, the humpback wrasse, Cheilinus undulatus. The museum also featured model ships with nets showing the various methods used for fishing for various target species in marine environments. We also had a look at the Chinese sturgeon aquariums. Researchers conduct studies on this endangered species and stock them back into river when they are four years old. This facility has the highest reintroduction rate in China. After this we proceeded to the large fish market in Shanghai – Dong Tan fish market. Although we missed the actual off-loading of catch from the trawlers we did get an impression of how busy the market must be at peak times. Indeed, translation of the various origins of the fish indicated everything from Yemen to South America. Despite the late hour we saw many creatures ready to be shipped to markets around china including hammerhead sharks (juvenile), various crustaceans, and jelly fish. Given that this is but one of many markets in China and that such fish markets
are iterated across many nations, one wonders how long sea resources can persist under such crushing pressure. We had our last lunch together at a restaurant just around the corner from our hotel near Fudan University and then for the remainder of the day went “out on the town”; for Canadian students this meant shopping for souvenirs and then going to the Expo in Shanghai, for the Southwest students shopping and for Fudan students returning to their dorms to pack for the trip to Canada. A few of us went to Cheng Huang temple – a very famous site in Shanghai. The slogan for the Expo is “Better city, better life,” which ties in nicely with the field course. Some pavilions (for example, the Indonesian one) focused on the need for biodiversity. Shanghai is so immense (population approaching 20 million) with construction everywhere that getting around is quite an adventure! Although Shanghai has an ancient history extending back to the Song Dynasty in the 11th Century, it is only over the last 2 centuries that it has gained prominence first as a nexus of East meets West and subsequently as a burgeoning port, manufacturing and business centre.