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Majority of Taiwan's saury fishing boats switch to LEDs

12/05/2023 09:03 PM
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Frozen Pacific sauries are displayed in this undated photo. CNA file photo
Frozen Pacific sauries are displayed in this undated photo. CNA file photo

Kaohsiung, Dec. 5 (CNA) A majority of Taiwan's long-distance saury fishing vessels have switched to using light emitting diodes (LEDs) to conduct saury fishery in the Pacific for environmental reasons, the Kaohsiung City Government's Marine Bureau said Tuesday.

The methods for which fishermen catch squid or saury are similar, hence many boats venture out to sea twice a year to catch these two types of fish, the bureau said.

Citing an example, it said boats travel to the Southwest Atlantic to fish for squid in the first half of the year, return and then venture out again to fish for saury in the North Pacific in the following months.

The fishing for saury happens at night, with artificial light playing an important role in attracting the fish to nets.

In the past, fishermen often used incandescent light bulbs or high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps to get their catch, but these types of lighting tend to consume a lot of energy, the bureau said.

Incandescent bulbs and HIDs also wear out faster, thereby adding to the cost of replacing them, it said, indicating that most operators have since switched to using LEDs, which last longer and can help reduce carbon emissions.

Saury fishing boats that are registered in Kaohsiung have gradually been returning to the Cianjhen fishing port from the northern part of the Pacific Ocean since the end of November after capping off the season, the bureau said.

The sauries caught by Taiwanese vessels are sold domestically and abroad, it said.

According to a Fisheries Agency (FO) news release in March, Taiwan's total saury catch in 2021 was about 30,000 metric tons, while it was some 40,000 metric tons in 2022.

Citing the North Pacific Fisheries Commission (NPFC), the FO said Taiwan is one of the major countries utilizing the saury resources in the NPFC Convention Area, and that about 90 long-distance Taiwanese saury vessels operate in the Northwest Pacific every year from June to November.

(By Lin Chiao-lien and Ko Lin)

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