Establishment and Objectives of the Fisheries Agency
Fishery is an important industry in a maritime economy. In the past 50 years, there has been remarkable outcome in the fishery development in Taiwan. However, the overall global environment of fishery has changed drastically in recent years, as seen by the extension of exclusive economic zones (EEZ) by coastal States, coupling with the growing international concern on the conservation of fisheries resources, and additionally, the practice of responsible fisheries and the growing stringent conditions laid on freedom of fishing on the high seas. To cope with such changes, in order to maintain the fishing interests on the high seas, it is important for Taiwan to actively participate in various international fisheries organizations as well as exercise responsible fisheries. Within the country, due to the rapid development of industry and commerce, there has been a significant outflow of work force from fishing villages, resulting aging of the fishing labors. More importantly, contamination of coastal and offshore waters has caused decreasing of fisheries resources, and overuse of water and land resources by aquaculture has also deteriorated the environment of fish farming. Therefore, the future work of the government will focus on the maintenance of orderly coastal and offshore fishing in parallel with fishery resources enhancement, and the promotion of aquaculture that is in harmony with the environment. Further, in order to maintain sustainable operation of the fishery industry, such issues as trade liberalization, industry globalization, maintenance of industry competiveness, and minimization of operation costs should not be disregarded.
To cope with the changes of the fishing environment both at home and abroad, the future development of fisheries, and to meet the reform of the government, as well as to improve the efficiency of the administrative work of the government, under the proposal of the Council of Agriculture, the amendment of the Regulation for the Organization of the Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, and the bill for the Regulation for the Organization of the Fisheries Agency, the Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, were adopted by the Parliament in May 1998 and enacted by the President for promulgation on June 24th 1998. On August 1st 1998, the Fisheries Agency was officially established under the permission of the Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan. The Fisheries Agency which is responsible for all matters relating to fisheries in the country, aims to establish and implement fisheries policies with a macroscopic outlook, with a view of promoting efficient administrative work, solving fisheries related problems, and maintaining sustainable fisheries development.
In accordance with the Regulation for the Organization of the Fisheries Agency, the Council of Agriculture, a staff force of 211 personnel shall be allocated to the Fisheries Agency. At the time of its establishment on August 1st 1998, the Fisheries Agency, which was upgraded from the Department of Fisheries of the Council of Agriculture, had a staff force of 56 personnel. On July 1st 1999, the Taiwan Fisheries Bureau of the Department of Agriculture and Forestry of the former Taiwan Provincial Government which had a staff force of 141 personnel, merged with the Fisheries Agency. In addition, the Fishery Broadcast Station of the Department of Agriculture and Forestry, which had a staff force of 35 personnel, became an affiliated department of the Fisheries Agency. Now, the Fisheries Agency has a staff force of 180 permanent personnel (including 23 personnel in the Deep Sea Fisheries Development Center and 1 resident staff posted overseas), 12 contracted staff, a fishery training ship, and patrol boat Yu Chien No. 2 with 36 contracted employees.
On August 1st, 2000, the Southern Taiwan Office was established in Kaohsiung as a duty-allocation unit. On October 29th, 2007, the Fisheries Agency moved to Kaohsiung to continue providing various services to fishing people there. Likewise, the Southern Taiwan Office was renamed the Public Service Center. At the same time, the Northern Taiwan Office was established in Taipei to continue servicing fishing people there. In order to offer bi-lingual services, the original administration was renamed the Fisheries Administration. Later, it was modified to be the Fisheries Agency by the Executive Yuan, it was approved and modified on April 14 2003 to be Fisher Agency by Executive Yuan in accordance with Yuan-Tai-Chiao No. 0920018239.
On August 1st 2000, the Southern Taiwan Office was established in the form of a taskforce. In line with the then policy of the government for relocating agencies to the southern part of Taiwan, the Fisheries Agency was relocated to Kaohsiung on October 29th, 2007. In order to enhance the service in the southern part of the island, the Southern Taiwan Office was renamed as Public Service Center, and at the same time the Taipei Area Office was established. To meet the official names and terms for government agencies under the government’s program of bi-linguist, in accordance with the Executive Yuan’s letter of April 14th 2003 (No. Yuan-Tai-Jiou 0920018239), the original name of the agency “Fisheries Administration” was changed to “Fisheries Agency”.
In June 2008, the response to the appeal from 40 fishery associations with the hope that the Fisheries Agency be moved back to the northern part of the country in order to facilitate its administrative work, the businesses of the Fisheries Agency of intra-departmental in nature and those involving policies decisions were moved to Taipei.