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Taiwanese offshore (distant water) fisheries in Southeast Asia, 1936-1977

Chen, Ta-Yuan (2007) Taiwanese offshore (distant water) fisheries in Southeast Asia, 1936-1977. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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The Japanese colonial fisheries authorities of pre-war Taiwan played an important role in the diffusion of offshore and distant water fishing methods. Two of the main fisheries in post-war Taiwan, the longline and trawl fisheries, were introduced from Japan during the pre-war period. Although Taiwan's fishing industry was devastated in the course of World War Two, with financial aid from the international community and the government's policy guidance, it was revived in a comparatively brief period of time. Fishing vessels from Taiwan, especially Kaohsiung, soon became, once again, a common sight in the waters of Southeast Asia. The first part of thesis traces the pre-war historical background, the government's post-war policy guidance and the birth of Taiwan's offshore and distant water fishing industry in Southeast Asia after World War Two.

After the Chinese communists came to power in 1949 Taiwan's fishing communities were placed under the strict surveillance of the Kuomintang authorities out of consideration for national security. The Taiwanese Government and the military adopted a variety of measures to control and regulate the development of the fishing communities. Also, the people in the fishing industry did their best to cope with the Government intervention.

To safeguard their onshore business interests, Kaohsiung's fishing companies also put considerable energy and effort into dealing with local shipyards, ice-manufacturers, and other fishing ancillary industries. Vessel owners developed industry partnership with those who were cooperative, and either avoided or boycotted those who were viewed as a potential nemesis. With a view to analysing the interactions between the fishing industry, the Government, the military, and key ancillary industries, the second part of the thesis focuses upon the history of Taiwan's post-war fishing industry from the perspective of the national-industrial level.

The development of Kaohsiung's fishing industry was also deeply affected by ethnic factors. Siao Liouciou fishers were solely dedicated to the longline fishing method; Shandong people preferred to be involved in pair-trawl fishing. The final part of the thesis further narrows down the scope of the history of Taiwan's fishing industry to the local level context of the fishing communities. The histories of six fishing companies are used to compare the cultures and management styles of the trawling and longlining fisheries. Finally, the fishers' daily lives in the waters of Southeast Asia, and the culture and routine practices of Kaohsiung's fishing communities are explored in depth.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Supervisor(s): Warren, James
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