Aquaculture for all

Taiwanese fish farmers fear Chinese backlash after Pelosi's visit

Grouper Post-harvest Politics +3 more

Fish farmers in Taiwan are concerned that their trade with China is likely to go from bad to worse following last week's visit to the island nation by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.


Beijing suspended purchases of grouper fish from Taiwan in June after repeatedly detecting banned chemicals

Chen Sheng-You, who farms grouper in Pingtung County, was already suffering from a suspension of sales of that species to China in June after Chinese authorities repeatedly detected banned chemicals in samples of the fish, according to Reuters.

And he fears that the diplomatic furore that followed Pelosi's visit on 2 August will put the livelihoods of fish farmers in the island's southern Pingtung county at further risk.

"Our job is to do fish farming," Chen told Reuters. "We only hope that once the fish grow bigger, we will sell them."

"Because of political issues and our government not having a communication channel, the Chinese government is blocking our economy," he said.

Beijing extended its ban on Taiwan's seafood a day after Pelosi's arrival, blocking shipments of chilled white striped hairtail and frozen horse mackerel. The country claimed to have found traces of the coronavirus on the packaging of some products, but the bans were widely seen as retaliation against Taiwan for allowing Pelosi's visit.

"I personally don't think it helped Taiwan whatsoever," Chen said of the visit. "It creates some economic loss for the Taiwanese people instead. I don't know why she came."

Zheng Rui-Long, the owner of a fish processing factory in Pingtung, told Reuters he was now trying to supply fish for bento boxes for Taiwan's railway network instead of exporting them.

"Fishermen here indeed are worried that they don't know where to sell groupers," he said.

"People need to live. We don't understand too much about politics but we only need a kind and peaceful relationship between China and Taiwan and also to co-exist."

Create an account now to keep reading

It'll only take a second and we'll take you right back to what you were reading. The best part? It's free.

Already have an account? Sign in here