China once again banned the import of seafood products from Taiwan. Agriculture Minister Chen Chi-chung said the impact will be more than NT$6 billion.
The fishing boat returned to Kaohsiung's Cianjhen Fishing Port with 500 metric tons of saury early in the morning. The saury on the boat had already been preordered. According to statistics from the Council of Agriculture, Taiwanese sauries are mainly exported to South Korea, Japan, and China. Exports to these three countries have totaled 1,573 metric tons as of November. Fishermen said the impact of the Chinese ban is relatively small as catches have reduced in recent years.
Cianjhen Fisher: “Of course, there is some slight impact. In the past, China was the largest market, right? Now there are other markets.”
Cianjhen Fisher: “We have peaceful relations with China and trade with them. We are helpless now they want to sanction us.”
Larval fish and squid are also on the Chinese ban list. Pingtung is an important center for larval fish breeding. It takes at least seven to ten months to raise the fish before they can be sold. China is the main market and the fishermen are worried.
Mr. Hsieh, Larval Fish Breeder in Fangliao: “Are you worried? Yes, why wouldn't I be? What is your largest export market? China. So what do I do with all these fish?”
Those who import and export seafood products are also very puzzled because they can't find out the reason for the ban at all. Also, they don't even have a channel to communicate with China.
Chu Ting-yu, Seafood Importer and Exporter: “This time they didn't even offer you the chance to submit additional forms and just blocked your export. And last time, there were still some people you can ask on their side, so we still had a rough idea of what went wrong. This time it's all stopped. Actually, I don't know where the problem is.”
The only one not banned this time is a food processing company in Pingtung, which has been exporting to China for more than 10 years. However, the company said they don't know the reason.
Hsieh Ching-yin, Owner, Food Processing Company: “We don't know much about this situation. We must follow the local regulations of each country that we export to.”
The reason for China's ban has not yet been revealed. Some people in the industry privately speculate that it is related to TSMC's establishment of a factory in the United States, but nothing has been confirmed. The Taiwan Squid and Saury Fisheries Association believes that in the future, Taiwan should diversify its export markets and adjust the industry's scale. However, this requires government assistance.