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Fisheries of the Republic of China(Taiwan)

Last Update:2015-10-29

Overview of the Fisheries

1. Distant water fisheries

Distant water fishery refers to the fishing activities conducted in areas outside the 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the country. The main types of fishing method used include tuna long-line fishing, tuna purse seine fishing, light inductive saury fishing, squid jigging and trawling. The average annual production in recent years is around 765 thousand tons, with a value of NT$44.6 billion. In terms of its scale, Taiwan’s distant water tuna fishery can be considered as the most leading player in the world, and its saury fishery has the second largest landings among the all players. Having a fleet of more than 2,000 fishing vessels, the fishing activities of Taiwan’s distant water fishery cover all three major oceans of the world. Through bilateral fishing access agreements, tuna fishing vessels fish in the EEZ of some 26 coastal countries.

To effectively manage the distant water fishing vessels operating in the major oceans, and in line with the measures adopted by international fisheries organizations, the government has formulated and amended relevant domestic rules and regulations with an aim to ensuring the sustainability of this fishery. Meanwhile, to achieve responsible fisheries management, the government has adopted effective measures on monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) for compliance by fishing vessels. Measures in the MCS include establishment of list of fishing vessels authorized to fish, implementation of the statistical document scheme for tuna exports, establishment of onboard observers program, reporting of vessel positions through satellite-base vessel monitoring system(VMS), implementation of high seas boarding and inspection, and carrying out port inspections.

2. Coastal and offshore fisheries

Coastal and offshore fisheries refer to those fishing activities conducted in Taiwan’s internal waters, territorial sea and EEZ. The main types of fishing methods used include drag net fishing, small-scale trawling, long-line fishing, gill-net fishing, etc. The average annual production in recent years is about 185 thousand tons, with a value of approximately NT$ 14.6 billion. The policies and measures adopted for the management of these fisheries are based on the objectives of conservation of fisheries resources and restoration of the marine ecosystem. Measures applied to support these policies include vessels buyback program for reducing fishing capacity, promotion of fishing layoff, establishment of closed areas and marine conservation areas for the protection of habitats. In addition, hatchery- reared larvae is released for restocking of fishery resources to improve the environment of fishing grounds. Meanwhile, fishermen are encouraged to diversify their activities to recreational fishing, such as angling, and whale and dolphin watching, etc., thus giving the development of coastal and offshore fisheries a multi-faceted dimension.

3. Aquaculture

Situated in the sub-tropic, Taiwan is well developed in aquaculture. With technologies and research in fish seed propagation and advanced aquaculture techniques, more than one hundred aquatic species are being farmed in Taiwan. This industry is divided into three major categories: freshwater pond aquaculture, brackish water pond aquaculture and marine culture. In recent years, the total area for aquaculture is approximately 40 thousand hectares, with an average annual production of about 316 thousand tons, and a value of approximately NT$ 35.1 billion. It is the policy objective of the government to seek rational utilization of water and land resources, improvement of the quality and sanitary standards of aquaculture products, development of specialized aquaculture areas and giving guidance for diversifying to the development of marine culture. In addition, strenuous efforts have been made in the establishment of aquaculture infrastructure, such as building of water drainage system and seawater supply system, development of sea caging, as well as providing guidance to farmers in integrating aquaculture zones with recreational industry in order to diversify their operations.

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