Taiwan's fishing industry is increasingly moving onto land. Fishfarmers have bout one-hundred and twenty-two thousand?
Taiwan's fishing industry is increasingly moving onto land. Fishfarmers have bout one-hundred and twenty-two thousand acres (50,000 hectares) of fresh and salt water ponds under cultivation in reservoirs and coastal inlets. Their fishbreeding is so successful that Taiwan now plans to double the areas being cultivated.
SYNOPSIS: Milk-fish is one species which has been farmed in Taiwan since the early seventeenth century, and now farmers produce half a tonne of the fish in each acre (0.40 hectares) of ponds. These ponds are connected by channels which help control the salt content of the coastal water. Pond bottoms are lined with green algae, the principal food for milk-fish.
Aqua culture was speeded up in Taiwan when the price of oil zoomed a few years ago. That rise made off-shore operations much more costly. Fish farming makes good sense -- it takes nine ponds (4 kg) of feed to put one pound (450 grammes) of meat on a steer. But it only takes one and a half pounds of feed to put a pound of meat on a fish.
Feed is carefully measured. Water temperature is monitored. And scientists check the environment to control disease. The Taiwanese fishfarmers harvested some one-hundred and forty-thousand tonnes offish from ponds such as these in 1977, and they plan to double that production.
With one species, the tilapia, the fish farmers have been to successful. Tilapia reproduce so often that Chinese scientists are now trying to limit the female population by cross-breeding. They hope that almost all the offspring will be male, to reduce future production.
Taiwan's fish exports realise three hundred million dollars, one sixth coming from ponds like these.