In 2001, the
United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) approved the
International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported
and Unregulated Fishing (IPOA-IUU), requesting States to develop their national
plan of action, to achieve the objective of IPOA to prevent, deter and
eliminate IUU fishing.
is developed in accordance with the provisions of the IPOA-IUU. Its contents
include all States responsibilities, flag States responsibilities, coastal
States measures, port States measures, internationally agreed market-related
measures, research, adoption of conservation and management measures within the
framework of regional fisheries management organizations, and supportive of the
special requirements of developing countries. In particular, the NPOA-IUU
explicates the legislative framework and monitoring, control and surveillance
(MCS) measures in Taiwan’s fisheries management, including the control of
nationals to ensure they do not conduct and support IUU fishing activities.
international instruments or regional fisheries management organizations,
Taiwan recognizes the fact that measures to ensure sustainable utlization of
marine fisheries resources are obligations with binding force. Taiwan will
revise, if deemed necessary, the contents of the NPOA-IUU, to ensure effective
prevention, deterrence and elimination of IUU fishing.
Provisions of the
Fisheries Act have been amended, permitting distant water fishing vessels
operating in fishing areas subject to high risks of piracy or illegal armed
forces, to employ private armed security personnel.
1. Objective: The permit
of employing private armed security personnel on board distant water fishing
vessels operating in fishing areas where there are high risks of piracy or
illegal armed forces has been granted to protect the life of personnel and
their property on board distant water fishing vessels.
1) A fishery
operator whose fishing vessel has been authorized to fish in those areas with
high risks of piracy or illegal armed forces (currently announced areas are
north of 10 degrees S. and west of 78 degrees E. in the Indian Ocean), may
employ private armed security personnel provided by private maritime security
2) Any fishery
operator who intends to employ private armed security personnel should fill in
letter of notification for each of his vessels, accompanying such documents as
copy of fishing license, plan of employment, insurance plan, and submit to the
central competent authority for perusal 7 days prior to the employment.
3) To avoid
private armed security personnel and the firearms, ammunition and knives they
carry, entering into the territory of Taiwan, whereby jeopardizing the law and
order of the country, the fishery operator should instruct the private armed
security personnel he employs to embark and disembark the vessel at foreign
ports, along with the firearms, ammunition and knives they carry, and they are
not permitted to enter into the terriotry of Taiwan other than the areas the
fishing vessel under protection has been previously notified. 4) Any
fishery operator who has employed private armed security personnel without
prior notification to the central competent authority, or has failed to embark
and disembark at foreign ports private armed security personnel under
employment, along with the firearms, ammunition and knives they carry, or whose
vessel has entered into the territory of Taiwan other than the areas the
fishing vessel under protection previously notified, is liable to a fine of not
more than NT$60,000 but not less than NT$300,000.
In order to
conserve and sustainably utilize shark resources, on 19 January 2012, the
Council of Agriculture proclaimed the Directions on the Disposal of the Fins of the
Shark Catches of Fishing Vessels (known as regulation
on “Shark’s Fins Naturally Attached to Bodies”). The measure was to be
implemented progressively from coastal fisheries and extending to distant water
fisheries, from large-scale vessels to small-scale fisheries.
The prevailing measures
taken by international fisheries management bodies on the conservation and
management of shark resources include prohibition on catching of shark species
with low abundance, and the application of the ratio of fins to shark carcass
of not over 5% at time of landing of shark catches. Nevertheless, under the
measure of 5% fin ratio, the practice of shark finning still exists and the use
of shark resources is not sustainable. To ensure sustainable utilization of
shark resources, the government considered the need to promote the measure of
“shark’s fins naturally attached to bodies”. Under this regulation, fishing
vessels are classified into 3 categories, namely, fishing vessels using ice to
preserve shark catches; fishing vessels over 100 GRT using refrigeration to
preserve shark catches; and fishing vessels under 100 GRT using refrigeration
to preserve shark catches. The measure was to be implemented in accordance with
the fishing conditions of these categories of vessels, with buffer time for
stronger advocacy. Administrative penalty was not to be imposed until 1 April
2012. At the outset, fine was imposed on violators, and following up with more
stringent sanctions, such as suspension of fishing license.
Sharks are important fisheries resources. In Taiwan, shark’s
meat is prepared into various delicacies
such as smoked shark’s meat, fish balls and fillets, forming part of Taiwan’s
traditional dietary culture. The government’s decision to implement the measure
of “Shark’s fins naturally attached to bodies” earlier than the measure taken
by international fisheries management organizations was also to ensure the
heritage of Taiwan’s traditional dietary culture, apart from its strenuous efforts
to conserve and manage shark resources as a member of the international
The measure for the
encouragement of fishing layoffs was initiated in 2002 after Taiwan’s accession
to the WTO, when Taiwan was facing the international pressure of lifting of all
direct subsidies on production. The Council of Agriculture thus developed the
Measure on the Adjustment of Preferential Fuel Price for Fisheries, which was
approved by the Executive Yuan for phased reduction of fuel subsidies on
fisheries. Starting from 1 September 2002, fuel subsidies were reduced from 28%
to 14%. Subsequently, the fuel cost for fishermen was increased. In order to
encourage fishermen to focus their operation during the time when the resource
was at peak abundance, while tie their vessels in port for carrying out fishing
layoffs during off-seasons to save fuel, the measure of fishing layoffs has been
Fishing layoff encouragements
are classified into voluntary layoffs and designated layoffs. Voluntary fishing
layoffs refer to voluntary adjustment by fishery operators whereby their
fishing vessels which have carried out fishing for 90 days, and berthing in
port for the same number of days berthed, will be qualifiable for the
application of subsidies, and receiving subsidies between NT$9,600 and
NT$300,000 depending on the sizes of the fishing vessels. Designated fishing
layoffs are applicable in accordance with the need in the conservation of
fisheries resources and the adjustment of the fisheries structure, under which fishing
vessels berth in port for the period of time as designated by the competent
fisheries authority. Designated fishing layoffs can be considered as fishing
closure, and the current implementation has been amended such that fishing
closure is applicable in accordance with the Fisheries Act.
number of fishing vessels participated in fishing layoffs increased from year
to year, from 5,620 vessel/trips in 2003 to 10,047 vessel/trips in 2013. In
view of the escalating fuel price, and the need for fishermen to maintain
competitiveness in fishing, the fuel subsidy of 14% will continue to apply. Meanwhile,
the Fisheries Agency is promoting fishing layoff encouragement as a form of
green subsidy permissible under the WTO rules, in order to conserve fisheries
resources and mitigate the impact of high fuel price on fisheries, with the establishment
of closed seasons, closed areas, total number of fishing vessels, fishing areas
and total allowable catch, for the management of fisheries resources.
mainly conduct their fishing activities at sea. Thus, in fisheries management,
it is most important to get hold of the activities of fishing vessels at sea.
Taiwan is located at the junction between the tropic and the sub-tropic, and various
sea currents meet at its surrounding seas. and with such natural phomena, the
fishery and marine features in Taiwan’s coastal and offshore seas not only vary
seasonally, but also have the charactistics of complex diversity in the
variation of fisheries resources. It is somewhat embarrassing to say that due
to lack of complete information on the activities of fishing vessesls, for long
there has been insufficient knowledge on the fisheries status in Taiwan’s
coastal and offshore seas.
Recorder (VDR) is a GPS-based device, which records the positions of vessel in
coordinates once every 3 minutes and have them stored in the memory chips of
the device. VDR was developed by the National Cheng Kung University in 2006 as
commissioned by the Council of Agriculture. VDR is required for installing on
fishing vessels since 2007. When a fishing vessel takes fuel at supply station
the VDR will record its voyage information, and based on the duration of its
voyage and the power of its engines, fuel consumption of the vessel can be calculated,
and the maximum quantity of diesel permissible for preferential price can then be
Apart from its function of recording the voyage information
of fishing vessels serving as a basis for fuel supply at preferential price,
the information recorded by VDR, such as vessel positions, speeds, and courses,
can also serve as important data for fisheries management. Advanced technology
has thus been introduced using the voyage information recorded by VDR in the
work of fisheries management. It is anticipated that fishermen will properly
use and maintain the VDR, in order to achieve a 3-win situation, protecting the
interests of fishermen in fuel subsidy, conservation of fisheries resources, as
well as better fisheries management of the government.
sustainable utilization of crab resources, on 27 January 2014, the Council of
Agriculture proclaimed the Measure on Controlling Crab Catches in the Coastal
and Offshore Fisheries, for implementation as from 1 April 2014. Key points of
the measure are as follows:
1. Fishing vessels
are prohibited from catching the following crabs:
1) Charybdis feriatus: shell span (the
distance between the broadest points of the two sides of the top shell of crab)
under 8 cm.
2) Portunus sanguinolentus: shell span
under 8 cm.
3) Portunus pelagicus: shell span under 8
4) Charybdis natator: shell span under 6
5) Ranina ranina: shell length (the
distance between the center points of the two sides of the top shell of crab)
under 6 cm.
2. Every year
between 16 August and 15 November, fishing vessels are prohibited from catching
spawning crabs carrying fertilized eggs on the sides of their abdomens.
3. Such crabs
listed in paragraph 1 above, incidentally caught, whether live or dead, should
be released immediately into the sea, and they are not allowed to be brought
into port or carried on board. Incidental catch of such crabs by gillnets
should be removed from the nets at sorting areas in fishing port where landing
is carried out, have them placed in surviving tanks, and be released into the
sea within 12 hours after the arrival of the vessel in port.
4. For the purpose
of scientific research of such crabs, with the approval of the central
competent authority, the prohibitions set forth in the preceding 3 paragraphs may
5. Anyone who
violates the above measure, is liable to a fine of not less than NT$30,000 but
not more than NT$150,000, in accordance with Article 65, paragraph 6 of the
For the purpose of
conserving the resources of great white shark, basking shark and megamouth
shark in Taiwan’s coastal and offshore sea areas, and to enhance the collection
of fisheries data and information on population dynamics of fisheries
resources, on 15 March 2014, the Council of Agriculture proclaimed the Measure
on Controlling the Catch of Great White Shark, Basking Shark and Megamouth
Shark, and the content is articulated as follows:
1. Any fishery
operator or fisherman who has caught a great white shark, a basking shark or a
megamouth shark in Taiwan’s coastal and offshore seas, should, within 1 day
after the arrival of his vessel in port, fill in Reporting Table for the Catch
of Great White Shark, Basking Shark and Megamouth Shark, and transmit by
facsimile to the following agencies or institute:
fisheries authorities of the respective government of municipalities, counties
2) The Fisheries
Agency (Fax No. (02) 3343-6299)
Resources Research Room, Department of Environmental Biology and Fisheries
Science, National Taiwan Ocean University (Fax No. (02) 2462-3986 or (02)
reporting, the fish in round form should be kept for 24 hours, for scientific
sampling and collection of biological data before auction or use.
3. Should the
Council of Agriculture considers the need to provide the fish to scientific
research institute for conducting scientific research, the fish may be purchased
by such institute as a priority at an agreed price.
4. Anyone who has
violated the reporting obligation, or has failed to retain the fish for 24
hours for scientific sampling and collection of biological data, will be liable
to a fine of not less than NT$30,000 but not more than NT$150,000, in
accordance with the provisions of Article 65, paragraph 5 of the Fisheries Act.
In recent years,
there has been growing international awareness on global marine conservation.
The concept of habitat protection is already an international trend, and establishment
of marine proected areas (MPA) is no doubt along the international mainstream
in promoting marine conservation. It has been widely recognized that MPA is an
effective tool to prevent the loss of marine biodiversity, as well as to
conserve and manage fisheries resources. Back from 1978, Taiwan has been
focusing on the protection of important ecosystems or such biological species
of specific fisheries resources, and establishing Fisheries Resources
Conservation Areas by local governments, in accordance with Article 45 of the
Fisheries Act, and providing restriction on catch size and fishing season in
accordance with Article 44 of the Act. Currently, there are 26 localities of
Fisheries Resources Conservation Areas in 10 coastal municipalities, counties
(townships), with a total area of 6,500 hectares.
resources conservation areas are all located within the fishing grounds where
the livelihood of the local communities or fishing villages depend, and thus
their establishment and the development of management mechanisms could not be
done over night. Consultations with stakeholders were necessary to achieve
consensus, and through repeated process of adaptative management models,
including the formulation of management plan, delimitation of areas, scientific
research and monitoring, review and communication, revision of the method of
management, re-announcement, can they address the everchanging marine natural
environment, in achieving good management results.
To-date the result
of some of the fisheries resources conservation areas has proven to be
promising. The Fisheries Agency anticipates local governments and local
residents can pay particular attention to the importance of the fisheries
resources conservation areas, and the model of adaptative management can be
introduced into the policy of fisheries resources management, whereby providing
strong driving forces to the conservation and management of Taiwan’s coastal
and offshore fisheries resources, to achieve their sustainable use.
Larva fishery is
one of the important coastal artesanal fisheries of Taiwan, and larva are important
seafood consumed by the people of Taiwan. Scientific research reviews that larva
of anchovy and herring are major target species in larva fishery. Due to
extensive catching in the past, resources of anchovy and herring have gradually
depleted, adding to the concern of large bycatch of the larva of other high
value fish species, therefore there is a need to control the fishery, in order
to conserve the resources in larva fishery.
As from 2008, the
Fisheries Agency sent personnel to key fishing ports, to conduct control and
verification of catch at time of landing, and collect information from catch
logbooks for provision to scientists for scientific analysis, for updating the
status of the resources. In 2011, the Regulatory
Guidelines for the Competent Local Authorities to Manage Larva Fishery were
established. The control measures include the restriction on the business
scale, establishment of closed areas, annual total allowable catch, obligation
of filling in and submitting catch logbooks, and coordination with the Coast
Guard Administration for conducting surveillance and control of the larva
fishery. “Effective management to replace total closure” is the top principle
in the management of the larva fishery, in order to achieve the objective of
rational utilization of resources, and this management principle may be amended
from time to time, according to the actual condition of the fishery.
government’s strict management of the larva fishery, between 2008 and 2011, the
catch of larva increased from 488 tons to the quantity between 600 tons and 790
tons, and further increased to 1,099 tons in 2012, indicating the preliminary
result of management by the local governments. Understanding of the variability
of marine resources requires long time cumulation of scientific data. The
Fisheries Agency will continue to commission scientists to conduct the work of
scientific reseaarch, serving as a basis for fisheries management.
Scomber australasicus, Scomber japonicus and Trachurus
japonicus which are mackerel
species found in the waters off the northeastern and southwesterrn parts of
Taiwan, are major target species in Taiwan’s mackerel fishery, using such gear
as danish seine and purse seine. The most common fishing grounds of this
fishery are waters north of 24 degrees N. Fish of Scomber australasicus caught in the fishery appears to be smaller in
size and lower in maturity age, reflecting the status of overfishing of the
stock. Therefore, enhancement of the management of mackerel fishery should be
carried out without any delay.
sustainable utilization of mackerel resources, on 16 April 2013, the Council of
Agriculture amended and proclaimed the Regulation on the Management of Mackerel
Fishery, focusing on the following key points:
1. Any single
mackerel purse seiner, group mackerel purse seiner or danish seiner which has
been authorized to conduct mackerel fishery in waters north of 24 degrees N. (the
northeastern areas), are required to apply for a fishing permit.
fishing vessels are not permitted to fish within the waters 6 nautical miles
from the coast of Taiwan main island, and those over 100 GRT are not permitted
to fish within the waters 12 nautical miles from the coast of Taiwan main
fishing vessels are not permitted to conduct fishing activities in the
northeastern areas between 1 June and 30 June every year.
vessels proceeding to the northeastern areas to conduct mackerel fishery are
required to install transceivers of vessel monitoring system on board, for
reporting their positions every hour. They should observe the regulations for
group vessel fishing, properly fill in the catch logbook, and receive observers
despatched by the Fisheries Agency to carry out observation.
fishing vessels which have been granted with fishing permits, are limited to
land their catches at Nanfangao Fishing Port in Ilan
County; Aodi Fishing Port, Shenao Fishing Port, and Yeliu Fishing Port in New
Taipei City; Badouzi Fishing Port and Zhengbin Fishing Port in Keelung;Jiangjun Fishing Port and Anping
Fishing Port in Tainan; and Xingda Fishing Port, Qianzhen Fishing Port, XiaogangLinhaixincun
Fishing Port and Zhongyun Fishing Port in Kaohsiung.
6. The catches of
mackerel fishing vessels should be traded openly in the district fishermen’s
associations, either in the form of auction, price negotiation, bidding or
Groupers are fish
species of high economic value. They are important ingredients in banquets. In
the early days farming of groupers was not possible and wild caught fish was
the only source of supply. Following the growing demand resulting from the
economic boom in the Greater Chinese Zone, including Taiwan and mainland China,
and the diminishing catch in the coastal waters, wild caught groupers were insufficient
to satisfy the demand. In early 1970s fishermen in Penghu began culturing wild
fry. Following the develoment of the aquaculture technology, fishermen were
attracted to invest in the farming of groupers. However, due to high mortality
of wild fry, development of grouper farming was constrained. Through tireless
research by farmers and researchers, there was major breakthrough in the
artificial propagation of malabar grouper in the 1980s, and later artificial
propagation of other grouper species such as giant grouper was successful. In
the 1990s, grouper fry was not only sufficient to supply the domestic farms,
but also enough for exports.
The geographic location and climatic condition of Taiwan are
suitable for grouper farming. With excellent technology in the artificial
propagation of high-end grouper species, refinement in various stages of
farming, as well as close to consumer markets of Hong Kong and mainland China,
it was considered Taiwan possesses the superb competitiveness in the industry.
In 2009, the Executive Yuan approved the Plan of Doubling the Production Value
in Grouper Farming under the Program of Refined and Heathy Agriculture of
Excellence. Such development slogans as “development of key technology, for use
by farmers, to maintain No. 1 in the world”, “enchanced resilience of
disastrous area, pay high attention to conservation of national land and
creation of excellent environment” and “facilitation of transport channels,
strengthening of market access, and cultivation of the global markets” were
included in the policies and implementation measures. With the combined efforts
of the academic and industry, the Government placed the target of doubling the
production value of grouper industry to NT$7.6 billion.
To encourage new
generations with expertise and technology to join Taiwan’s distant water
fishery, the Fisheries Agency has implemented the Program on Encouraging
Students Graduated from Marine Colleges and Universities to Serve on board
Distant Water Fishing Vessels, providing annually 6 candidates, for a maximum
of 3 consecutive years. Qualified candidates are as follows:
graduated from marine colleges or universities, majoring in fisheries,
navigation, marine engineering, or telecommuncation.
graduated from public and private vocational schools, majoring in marine
engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, or electrican
3) Students graduate
from naval academy for officers, majoring in marine engineering.
4) Students who
have completed training courses from public vocational training centers, with
certificate of verification of over C grade technicians, in the installation
and repair of airconditioners, laithe working, and fitter working.
implementation in 2000, 30 students participated in the program, and there are
21 persons remained serving in the industry, with a retention rate of 70%.
Since 2009, the
Fisheries Agency has been running a Contest of 10 Most Charming Fishing Ports
by ballot. This activitiy not only has changed the features of fishing ports,
but also provided such components as recreation and culture into fishing ports,
making them multifunctional. Looking back to the First Contest of 10 Most
Charming Fshing Ports, through introduction of various themes, the viewpoint of
uniqueness, such as “vagrancy” and “pain healing” was incorporated into the
themes, which met the prevailing tones of young people, successfully creating
the characteristics of fishing ports, enabling some of the rarely known fishing
ports to become a tourist spot over night, for example, “Wu Shi Bi Fishing Port
– wandering to the edge of the world”.
Along the coast of
Taiwan there are 225 fishing ports. With the change of lifestyle and the quest
for higher quality life of people, the functions of fishing ports need to be
diversified to include tourism and leisure. For the purpose of promoting
multiple functions of fishing ports, the Fisheries Agency has been providing
resources for improving the overall environment of the direct retail centers in
various fishing ports, beautifying and greening the peripheral environments of
various fishing ports, construction of berths for yachts and pleasure boats,
and even performing assessment of the environments of fishing ports in
cooperation with the Environmental Protection Administration. These actions all
aim at improving the overall quality of the environments of fishing ports, in
order that they may display the brilliancy of different features.
Taiwan has many beautiful, culture-rich and ecosystem
connotated fishing ports yet to be explored. There is the need to illustrate
creativity through the cooperation of the local governments, civil societies,
fishermen’s associations and fishermen, with the combination of the environments
and cultures of fishing ports, making them to become places for leisure and embracing
the sea for the entire population.
The Fisheries Agency is planning to utilize existing waters within the fishing ports, redistribute berths within the ports, and build floating docks in order to achieve resource sharing for fishing ports. The Fisheries Agency is also planning to build dedicated berths for yachts and standard-setting marinas for leisure use. The goal is to renovate traditional fishing ports and turn them into modern fishing harbors, serving function of tourism in addition to fishing purpose. With this project, the Fisheries Agency can create a new image of fishing ports in Taiwan.
Emphases of This Policy
Fishing ports were used mainly for traditional fishing purpose in the past. In recent years, leisure activities on the shore and at sea have become increasingly popular. As a result, fishing ports are evolving into multi-use ports. To fulfill President Ma’s election promise, the Fisheries Agency is executing a plan to stimulate the economy and increase investment in public projects – in this case, a project that revives the coastline and promotes constructions for fisheries. The Fisheries Agency selected three fishing ports – Badouzi Fishing Port in Keelung, Wushi Fishing Port in Yilan, and Anping Fishing Port in Tainan – with the following criteria: The size of the land available for expansion, conditions for leisure activity development in the vicinity of the fishing port, the environment of the surrounding waters, the expansiveness of the area for development on land, the convenience of transportation and proximity to metropolitan areas. The Fisheries Agency utilizes existing waters within the fishing ports to redistribute berths within the ports and build floating docks in order to achieve resource sharing for fishing ports. The Fisheries Agency is also planning to build dedicated berths for yachts and standard-setting marinas for leisure use. The goal is to renovate traditional fishing ports and turn them into modern fishing harbors, serving function of tourism in addition to fishing purpose. With this project, the Fisheries Agency can create a new image of fishing ports in Taiwan.
After four years of planning, design and construction, all three yachts marinas were completed in April 2013. Badouzi Fishing Port can provide 50 new berths, with 7 for 100 ft. boats, 13 for 60 ft. boats, and 30 for 50 ft. boats. Anping Fishing Port can provide 8 berths for 60 ft. boats, and 24 berths for 48 ft. boats. Wushi Fishing Port can provide 4 berths for 60 ft. boats, 13 berths for 48 ft. boats, and 15 berths for 30 ft. boats. Altogether, 114 berths were created. Badouzi Fishing Port and Wushi Fishing Port have opened for business since September 21, 2013 and June 23, 2013, respectively. At the present, the berths at the marinas are all full. Additionally, yachts and sailboats are mooring at half the berths in Anping Fishing Port marina.
In the past, there was a shortage of suitable marinas in Taiwan. Existing marinas are lack of sufficient land for development and infrastructure such as clubhouses and hotels. As a result, it was hard to attract yachts to moor there, let along developing a leisure industry around yachts. The completion and operation of these three marinas are located in metropolitan areas set another milestone for the development of domestic yachts leisure industry. Aside from promoting tourism and travel as well as increasing mooring locations for yachts to popularize yachts activities, help develop the yachts industry, and boost the economy of fishing communities, these marinas can also attract international tourists, yachts and sailboats, and professional maritime sport enthusiasts to engage in maritime sports in the waters around Taiwan. After the berths at the marinas are built, they can provide jobs opportunity and boost economic output.
The number of eel fry caught in coastal waters around Taiwan has been declining, and the reason for such a decline is still uncertain. However, for the purpose of preserving the livelihood of fishermen, sustaining traditional eel aquaculture and conserving eel resources, the Fisheries Agency promulgated “Regulations on Eel Fry Catching Season” which guides city and county governments to declare rivers in their jurisdictions off-limits for catching adult eel. The goal of this pronouncement is to allow some of the eel fry to migrate upstream and grow in order to rebuild the eel stock.
Emphases of This Policy
1 The gradual decline of eel fry is presumed to closely connected with global climate change and massive catches of eel fry. Because catching eel fry is one of traditional industries in coastal areas Taiwan in the winter season and an important source of revenue on which many fishermen rely for basic income, the Fisheries Agency has no choice but use this regulation to balance the industry and sustainable utilization of resources.
2 Based on monthly statistics of eel fry catches from 2008 to 2012, we can judge that the eel fry catching season begins from October to the following April. To balance the livelihood of fishermen and allow part of incoming eel fry to migrate upstream and mature in their habitat, the Fisheries Agency invited delegates from the industry, local government authorities, and the academia for consultation, the said parties reached consensus on the regulation on catching eel fry. The Fisheries Agency then promulgated “Regulations on Eel Fry Catching Season” on September 9, 2013.
3 The main points of “Regulations on Eel Fry Catching Season” are as follows:
3.1 Catching eel fry by any method in the waters three nautical miles from shore, intertidal zones, and estuaries from March 1 to October 31 is forbidden. The following conditions are exceptions:
3.1.1 Catching eel fry in the waters, intertidal zones, and estuaries of Hualien County and Taitung County.
3.1.2 With the approval from regulators in the Central Government for academic research purposes.
3.2 Fishermen who catch eel fry during the period when fry catching is not forbidden must comply with the relevant regulations as stipulated in the National Park Law, the Wildlife Conservation Act, the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act , the Fisheries Act and other laws that designate conservation zones and fishing off-limits.
3.3 Those who are found to be in violation of the regulation in point one will be fined at least NT$ 30,000 and with maximum of NT$ 150,000 according to the regulations in paragraph 5 Article 65 of the Fisheries Act.
4 The pronounced period during which fry catching is forbidden has included March, April, and October. The total catch of eel fry in these three months averages about 100,000 fish per year according to the statistics. When left undisturbed, this population of eel fry can migrate upstream to grow in their habitat, and help replenish the eel stock enormously. Because the peak eel fry season could be influenced by climate change and may change its movement pattern accordingly, the Fisheries Agency will therefore review the eel fry season in the future based on the implementation of this pronouncement and adjust the period during which eel fry catching is forbidden and other relevant regulations in a gradual manner.
5 To allow the eel to mature and migrate to the ocean to spawn, the Fisheries Agency has instructed city and county governments to declare the midstream and downstream of at least one river in their jurisdictions as off-limits for eel catching, meaning that catching eel by any method during the whole year is forbidden. In particular, Yilan County has declared that catching eel in the entire watershed of rivers within the county is forbidden in order to protect habitat of eels and the ecology.
6 The aquaculture of eel and catching eel fry are important industries in Taiwan. As the eel stock is being depleted by the day, conservation of eel stock is becoming more and more urgent. The promotion of regulations on the eel fry catching season and the conservation of eel habitat is a joint effort by the industry, the government, and the academia. This effort will help the sustainable use of the eel stock and promote better management of this industry.
Helping Taiwan’s tilapia growers expand their presence in the international arena and improve the overall quality of the aquaculture industry
Emphases of This Policy
The average annual tilapia output in Taiwan is roughly between 60,000 and 70,000 metric tons, about 60% of the output is exported to foreign markets. Many countries are investing resources to develop the aquaculture of tilapia – especially the fast-growing Southeast Asia nations and China that own abundant natural resources and low wages. To deal with the competition from lower-priced products from foreign producers, helping aquaculture farms acquire international certification is the available approach to maintain the high quality of tilapia from Taiwan.
ASC accountable aquaculture certification is established by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), a non-profit organization initiated in 2010 by The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH). The ASC created a set of stringent third-party certification standards for aquaculture products. The issues under the audit encompass seven areas: 1. Abiding by national and local laws of the jurisdiction; 2. Protecting local ecology and biodiversity; 3. Conserving water resources; 4. Biodiversity and wildlife populations; 5. Responsibilities that should be assumed while using the resources; 6. Managing the health of the fish population with environmental responsible methods; and 7. Taking social responsibilities. The audit standards cover 61 items.
To help expand the international markets for Taiwan’s tilapia and improve the standards of aquaculture farms, the Fisheries Agency has joined forces with Tainan City Government to offer guidance to the twelve farmers and two processing factories in the NanYing Aquaculture Association since 2012. The preparation of documents and training for ASC certification began in September 2011. After eighteen months of arduous effort, and an open and transparent audit process, these aquaculture farms earned ASC certification on March 14, 2013. The total annual output of the certified farms is about 1,800 tons. Currently, only twenty-four tilapia aquaculture farms in the world have earned ASC certification – 1 in Costa Rica, 2 in Ecuador, 2 in Honduras, 5 in Indonesia, 1 in Malaysia, 12 in Taiwan, and 1 in Vietnam, In which Taiwan represents half the list of the certified farms.
Products that have earned ASC certification will be easier in winning purchase orders from retailers that identify with vision of the ASC. These retailers include: Ahold supermarket group (the leader in the supermarket industry in the Netherlands, with locations in the Netherlands and the US), Anova Food LLC (a supplier of seafood, with business locations in Europe and Asia), Metro Group (No. 4-ranked retailer in terms of global sales, with stores in 32 countries throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa) and Kroger Co. (the largest supermarket chain in the US). To differentiate Taiwan’s tilapia from other products in the international market, the Fisheries Agency gave the Chinese name “Activity Eco-friendly Tilapia” to Taiwan’s tilapia that has earned ASC certification. The product has been successfully available for sale for about a month in the channel of retailer “Organic and Natural House,” and its sale is growing steadily.
To encourage fishermen to insure their fishing vessels and take care of more fishermen, the Fisheries Agency plans to offer incentives to the insurance premium of fishing vessels to effectively increase the ratio of insured fishing vessels and protect the assets of fishermen.
Emphases of This Policy
1 There are about 22,000 fishing boats, sampans, and fishing rafts that are under 100 tons of displacement nationwide. In the past, only a little more than a thousand fishing vessels each year were insured under the fishing vessel insurance plans, a number that is less than one-tenth of all fishing vessels nationwide. The subsidy for the insurance premium was targeting fishing vessels between 50 and 100 tons. The percentage of the insured among small fishing vessels (less than 20 tons or fishing rafts) was rather low – only about 3% of total insured vessels, or a little more than 300 vessels. Additionally, fishing vessels were given subsidies based on tonnage at amounts between 40% to 70% of the insurance premium. Because the ceiling of the subsidies had not been defined, the subsidies have been increasing over the years. In order to take care of more fishermen and increase the owners’ willingness to insure their fishing vessels, the Fisheries Agency adjusted the amount of subsidies as incentives for the insurance of fishing boats (rafts), defined the ceiling of the subsidy, and revised method of and changed the government unit accepting the application for subsidy. At the same time, for legal compliance reasons, Per Paragraph 1 Article 53 of the Fisheries Act, “Guideline on Incentives for Power Fishing Vessel Owners’ Insurance Incentive in the Taiwan Region” was changed to “Regulations on Power Fishing Vessel Owners’ Insurance Incentive,” and the regulation came into effect on October 9, 2012.
2 To encourage fishermen to insure their vessels, and to promote the insurance of fishing vessels, the Fisheries Agency is offering subsidies in tiers of $4,000, $6,000, and $8,000 for small fishing boats (rafts) based on tonnage. When fishermen apply for a basic level of insurance, they don’t need to pay any premium to receive basic coverage for their fishing vessels. This measure will effectively increase the ratio of insured fishing vessels and protect the assets of fishermen.
3 After summarizing subsidies for fishing vessels in 2012, the Fisheries Agency found that almost 4,000 vessels have applied for insurance and insurance premium subsidies. This number is about 18% of fishing boats and rafts that are under 100 tons. The greatest increase is in the category of boats and rafts that are under 20 tons, with about 3,548 vessels. Percentage-wise, the ratio increased from 3% in the past to 16% in the present. The benefit is clear.