A survey jointly conducted by Greenpeace Taiwan and the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium found that six types of fish sold at fish markets have become a lot smaller. They urged the Executive Yuan to send the draft bill of a marine conservation act to the legislature for review.
Fishmonger stands have been set up in front of the Executive Yuan. The stand on the left displays models of fish from the 1990s, which are clearly larger than the ones on the right, which were purchased in 2023 at an Yilan fish market. Greenpeace Taiwan and the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium researchers jointly conducted a survey of fish markets in Keelung, Yilan, Kaohsiung, Pingtung, and other places and collected 1,716 valid specimens. They discovered that 70 percent of mackerels, blackthroat seaperches, jack mackerels, horsehead tilefish, threadfin porgies, and white pomfrets had not reached half the body length of sexual maturity.
He Hsuan-ching, Researcher, Nat'l Museum of Marine Biology & Aquarium: “It was over 90 percent for white pomfrets, mackerels, and horsehead tilefish. If they're caught at this stage, then they won't have a chance to reproduce and help with the sustainability of their species. This is very unsustainable.”
Models of fish from the 1990s were compared with the fish that is being sold now. There was a huge size difference, which shows that the oceans are being overfished. Young fish don't have a chance to grow up and produce the next generation, which will lead to ecological imbalances. Meanwhile, the Executive Yuan has been sitting on a marine conservation act for many years. Environmental groups urged the Executive Yuan to take action.
Tommy Chung, Director, "Project Ocean," Greenpeace Taiwan: “The important role played by a marine conservation act is to enlarge marine conservation districts and allow them to be effectively supervised. When they are healthy, fish will naturally gather. Once that happens, they will spread to new areas.”
Chen Ying-jung, Executive Yuan Department Director: “We will continue working hard to get it delivered to the legislature as quickly as possible.”
The Executive Yuan sent a representative to speak with the environmental groups. She said the review of the bill has already been completed and efforts will be made to deliver it to the legislature during the current session. The groups said the Executive Yuan had already broken its promise to send it last year and urged the Tsai administration not to destroy Taiwan's rich fishery resources.