Overuse of fisheries resources will result reduction on the size of fish caught, damage of the marine food chain, and further lead to the collapse of fisheries resources and extinction of fish species. Thus, fisheries must be carried out in a responsible manner, that is, they should only be performed under the prerequisite of sustainable use of resources, and referred to as responsible fisheries.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization adopted the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries in 1995, providing fundamental principles for the performance of responsible fisheries. Methods for the practice of responsible fisheries include:
(1) Protection of habitats of fisheries resources, establishment of fisheries resources protection areas.
(2) Promoting the maintenance of the quality, diversity and availability of fisheries resources and ensuring food security.
(3) Recording and publicizing the traceability of fishery products.
(4) Avoid fisheries resources being overfishing and in an overfished state.
(5) Obtain, to the greatest extent, best available scientific evidence, and collect information for the performance of fisheries scientific and technological research.
(6) Adopt precautionary approach in a broader manner, such as, through fisheries related research, setting of maximum sustainable yield of fisheries resources.
(7) Development of selective fishing gears, and environmental friendly fishing gears and fishing methods.
(8) Protection and restocking of aquatic resources.
(9) Provision of accurate fisheries related data.
(10) Promote consensus on the practice of responsible fisheries.
It is envisaged that through the practice of responsible fisheries, with the awareness of self management, attachment of high importance and preservation of marine ecology and biodiversity from the government, fishermen’s organizations, fishermen and general public, effective management and sustainable development in fisheries can be ensured. Being a responsible country, Taiwan will promote the practice of responsible fisheries in its coastal and offshore fisheries, and intensify the management of fisheries resources, and will take them as important agenda in the implementation of its fisheries policies.