Importance of Fisheries Resources
Geographically Taiwan is situated in the sub-tropic, in the western Pacific Ocean. It is surrounded by oceans, with vast extent of coastal and offshore sea areas forming diversified and complicated habitats, including continental shelf, sandy banks, estuaries, reef rocks, coral reefs, seagrass beds, mangroves, lagoons, deep oceans and underwater thermal vents. In addition, the coastal waters of Mainland China, the Kuroshio Current and its tributaries, and the warm waters of Taiwan Strait flow along the surrounding seas, and different current systems bring different fish species, making these seas enriched with diverse fish species, and abundant marine living resources, thus enabling the country to enjoy a unique environment for fisheries development.
“Fisheries” refer to the harvesting and farming of aquatic animals and plants, and the related industries, which include processing and distribution of the products. “Resources” refer to various materials used by human beings in carrying out the activities of their productions. Therefore, “fisheries resources” mean the fisheries biological aggregations being used presently or to be used in future by fishing activities. Following the gradual contraction of the global cultivable land, leading to shortage of source of food from land, fisheries resources from oceans have become an important source of food for the entire humankind in the world, and they have also formed important properties in the economy, trade and marine recreation of every ocean country. With continuing growth of the world’s population, the role played by fisheries resources in respect to human food, economy and trade is increasingly important.
In the recent decade, with advanced fishing technology, larger size and longer navigating capability of fishing vessels, every fishing ground in the world is being tapped, without any exception. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reviewed that 25% of the world’s fisheries resources is over-exploited, indicating that management of fisheries resources and the practice of responsible fisheries are urgent and important work of all countries in the world.