Offshore and Coastal Fishery
Taiwan is surrounded by the ocean, with a total coastline of 1,139 km, and there is an abundant supply of aquatic products in the tidal flats offshore. As early as Ming and Qing Dynasties, residents along the coast of Taiwan were already involved in fishing and aquaculture, with fishermen using wind-powered bamboo rafts or sailboats in the offshore waters. The Office of the Governor-General carried out incentive programs to promote the production of fishery products and set up experimental labs to improve the development of this industry. It also tried to enhance offshore and coastal fisheries by encouraging the improvement of fishing methods, tools, boats, and dock equipment. Fishing boats thus became motorized, and power fishing boats were introduced from Japan, while subsidies were granted to build such vessels and encourage people to engage in a new, more modern forms of fishery. The Office of the Governor-General used fishery research ships to conduct surveys in the waters of the Philippines Sea, the South China Sea and the Indonesian Sea in order to encourage fishing boats to operate in these areas. In 1910 (Year 43 of the Meiji regime), the first such research ship, “Ryokai Maru”, was built for coastal fishery surveys. A bigger ship, “Shonan Maru”, was finished in 1931 (Year 6 of the Showa regime) to carry out deep-sea experiments and investigations. Meanwhile, under the guidance of the government, fishermen were encouraged to sail to the East China Sea, South China Sea and other waters to fish for tuna and spearfish.