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Grouper Aquaculture Set To Grow In Taiwan

Economics +1 more

TAIWAN - Grouper farmers are planning to expand their grouper ponds and even fishermen have expressed interest in entering the lucrative market, as demand from China increases.

President Ma Ying-jeou predicted that Taiwan will become the largest source of grouper in the world as the fish has been included on Taiwan's "early harvest" list of goods and services that will enjoy preferential tariff treatment under the economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA).

The President has predicted that the total annual production value of grouper, which are mainly raised in Kaohsiung and Pingtung in South Taiwan, will increase to US$237 million in the next few years.

One grouper producer told Taiwan News that recent governmental changes have meant that grouper can be transported live to 11 harbours in China's Fujian Province, with no tariffs charged.

According to Ho Shu-yuan, director of a fishermen's association in Kaohsiung County, some local fishermen have approached the association to seek advice on how to enter the grouper aquaculture business.

He said that the price of quality grouper had increase 56 per cent over the last year.

Farmers in Taiwan are still suffering from the after effects of Typhoon Marakot last August. It is hoped that the signing of the ECFA and the expanding Chinese markets will help recovery.