Fisheries of the Republic of China(Taiwan)

Last Update:2015-10-29
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Fishery Policies and Guidance

1. Participation in international fisheries

organizations, and enhancement of the management on marine fisheries In response to the trend of enhanced management of fisheries resources adopted by international fisheries management organizations, and with a view of establishing closer cooperation under inter-governmental bodies and achieving sustainable use of high seas fisheries resources, while protecting Taiwan’s fishing interests and the fishing rights of fishermen, maintaining the economic viability of the fishing industry as well as conserving the marine ecosystem, in recent years, the government has been putting strenuous efforts in seeking ways to improve the status of Taiwan’s participation in the work of these organizations, and has sent personnel to participate in the meetings of regional or subregional fisheries organizations and other important multilateral fisheries conferences, as well as engage in bilateral fisheries consultations.

The fisheries organizations, which Taiwan participates include the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC), the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC), the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT), the International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna- like Species in the North Pacific (ISC), the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organization (SPRFMO), the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission (NPAFC), and the North Pacific Fishery Commission (NPFC). In addition, Taiwan has also been taking part in the meetings held by the Committee on Fisheries of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO-COFI), and the Committee on Fisheries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD-COFI), as well as the activities of the World Trade Organization (WTO). For improving the management of fish stocks, the number of international fisheries conferences and meetings has grown substantially in recent years, and every year Taiwan participates in approximately 40-60 international meetings.

2. Conservation of fisheries resources, and sustainable fisheries operations

2.1 Fishery Layoff Program

The government has adopted a fishery layoff encouragement scheme, with a view of reducing fishing efforts, easing the pressure on fish stocks, and reinforcing the work on the protection of fisheries resources, while ensuring sustainable utilization of such resources.

2.2 Vessel reduction measures

To ensure rational utilization of fisheries resources, to meet the call of global reduction of fishing capacity, and to address the impact on coastal and offshore fisheries following Taiwan’s accession to the WTO, the government has implemented phases of vessel buyback programs for adjusting the structure and scale of the fisheries, with a view of achieving sustainable development of Taiwan’s coastal and offshore fisheries.

2.3 Management and conservation of specific fisheries in coastal and offshore fisheries

To achieve the objectives of conservation of fisheries resources and sustainable fishing operations, the government has implemented such management work as time and area closure, control of total allowable catches, requirement of installation of vessel position reporting system, mandatory filling in of fishing reports, placing of observers on board fishing vessels, boarding and inspection of fishing vessels, and port inspection on specific fisheries, which include coral harvesting, flying fish eggs harvesting, whale shark fishery, larvae fishery, mackerel fishery, and trawl fishery. In addition, the work on deployment of artificial reefs and releasing of fish fry continues.

2.4 Establishment of marine protected areas

For the protection of marine biodiversity, and for the conservation, management and sustainable use of fisheries resources, marine protected areas, which cover an area of 30,579.42 sq. km., have been delineated. They account for 47% of the territorial waters in Taiwan. 2.5 Conservation and Management of Shark Resources To ensure sustainable use of shark resources, and to meet the requirements of shark conservation and management called upon by regional fisheries management organizations, the government has been actively promoting the measure of “shark’s fins naturally attached”, and publicize regulations on imports of shark’s fins, requiring fishing vessels and importers to observe.

3. Refinement of the fishery industry, and development of recreational fishery

3.1 Promotion of production and management system of prime seafood

Guidance has been provided to seafood processing plants for the application of Taiwan’s label of prime agricultural product certification ( Certified Agricultural Standard, CAS ), and introduction of the system of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points ( HACCP ) in seafood processing. In addition, the implementation of product certification and inspection scheme has been reinforced for the building of a product traceability system on seafood. To improve the quality of Taiwan’s aquaculture products, and to meet the requirement of international health and hygiene standards, guidance has been provided to aquaculture farms, encouraging them to upgrade the level of autonomy in their operations for promoting a product traceability system , thus enhancing their competitiveness, and production of prime quality and hygienic products.

3.2 Development of markets for high-end seafood

To develop markets for high-end seafood, accreditation of prime seafood and selection of the 10 best mullet roe producers have been carried out, for building of a specific characteristic of each product, expansion of distribution channels, and creation of a stable supply chain system, whereby upgrading the level of high-end seafood and its market competitiveness.

3.3 Promotion of coastal recreational fishing tourism

Guidance has been given to fishermen to restructure their fishery for the development of recreational, consumer self-experiencing, educational, and service oriented business. In addition, in connection with the characteristics of the local industry-related cultural activities, value-added coastal recreational fishery has been promoted, so as to create a brand new feature in the fishing community.

3.4 Multi-functional fishing harbors

For the development of recreational and touristic fishing harbors, a contest of the 10 most charming fishing harbors was conducted. Floating jetties in the marinas in Badouzi of Keelung City, Wushi of Yilan County, and Anping of Tainan City have been developed, to promote multiple functions of fishing harbors in serving as centers for tourism and recreation.

4. Strengthening of institutional function of fishermen’s organizations and fostering of fishing personnel

4.1 Establishment of the National Fishermen’s Association

In 2012, the Taiwan Provincial Fishermen’s Association was reformed to become the National Fishermen’s Association of the Republic of China. Concurrently, there are 1 national fishermen’s association and 39 district fishermen’s associations. To reinforce the institution of fishermen’s organizations and create synergy among members, every year different levels of fishermen’s association have carried out trainings and other activities such as culinary courses, 4-H, fishing techniques, etc.

4.2 Encouraging nationals to work on board fishing vessels

To satisfy the supply of fishery labor force and promote job opportunity, the government has implemented programs to encourage nationals to work on board fishing vessels. In addition, to encourage students graduated from fishery-related schools of ocean and marine colleges and higher educational institutions to enter into the business of fishery, the government has launched a million NT dollars annual income program, for fostering officers for Taiwan’s fishing vessels in order to enable sustainable operations of the fishing industry.

4.3 Enhancement of the training of fish workers

To prevent maritime accidents, tragic incidents of man slaughtering on board and incidents of vessel detention by foreign authorities, the government has conducted various training courses on marine safety, and promotion of the skill of leadership, knowledge of international ocean law and domestic fisheries law and regulations, with a view of improving the quality of fish workers and safeguarding the life and property of fishermen.

4.4 Fostering of young fish farmers

To assist and encourage young people to engage in the business of aquaculture, apart from providing them with loans required for the operation of the business, training courses on aquaculture techniques, prevention of fish disease, and business management and marketing have been provided to improve the potential of Taiwan’s aquaculture and capacity building in human resources.

5. Adjustment of the structure of aquaculture and enhancement of its research and development

5.1 Promotion of marine culture

Taking into consideration of the protection of the environment, as well as the requirement of fisheries development, the structure of aquaculture has been adjusted, for building of an environment for marine culture. While the work on the improvement of seawater supply and drainage systems in aquaculture production areas continues, a combined seawater supply system in these areas has been planned, for uniform supply of seawater resource in creating an excellent environment for aquaculture.

5.2 Sound application of science and technology in Aquaculture

Science and technology have been adequately applied in rearing high-end aquaculture products, notably for the farming of ornamental fish and groupers, and in the development of high quality seeds and seafood processing technology. In order to guide the industry towards the development of energy saving technology, research and development of LED module for fish aggregating lighting system and water saving system in aquaculture have been carried out to seek cost reduction in fishery and aquaculture.

6. Closer communications between the two sides of the Straits and expansion of the market in Mainland China

6.1 Promotion of closer communications between the two sides of the Straits and the market for seafood in Mainland China

The Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement between the two sides of the Straits was signed in June 2010, and Taiwan obtained 5 seafood items on the early harvest list for enjoying zero tariff on exports to the Mainland China. For promoting the communications of the fishing and fishery-related businesses between the two sides of the Straits, assistance has been provided to industry entrepreneurs and fishery organizations for participating in fishery exhibitions in the Mainland China, for closer relationship with established enterprises in the Mainland China, and introduction of such Taiwan’s fine seafood as groupers, saury and milkfish into the Mainland Chinese market. In addition, in view of the fact that fishermen of the two sides of the Straits fish in the same fishing grounds and use the same fisheries resources, in order to protect the interests of the fishermen of both sides, and promote sustainable utilization of these resources, fishery inter-communications have been carried out between the two sides, and under the mechanism of the Straits Exchange Foundation (Taiwan) and the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (Mainland China), a fisheries agreement has been underway.

6.2 Agreement on the cooperation in the service of fish Labors

The Agreement on the Cooperation in the Service of Fish Labors Across the Straits was signed on 22 December 2009 and entered into force on 21 March 2010. It was an historical progress of normalizing the cooperation in the employment of fish labors between the two sides of the Straits, enabling both vessel owners in Taiwan and fish workers from the Mainland China enjoying their respective rights and interests. For any misconducts or breach of agreement by either the fish workers or the vessel owners, which causes the damage of the other, the respective fishing companies or individual fish workers in question will be held accountable, with the employment service providers and the vessel owners jointly liable for indemnification of the damage.

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