It is widely recognized that fishing states are obliged to exercise flag state responsibility over their vessels. In an attempt to become a responsible fishing actor, Taiwan has endeavored to manage its distant water fishing fleet in accordance with international fisheries management. However, the long-standing problems of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, fish laundering, and fishing overcapacity, which remained unsolved during the 1990s and early 2000s, brought its management capability into doubt. Failure to address these problems undermined the credibility of all management measures and ultimately resulted in a recommendation adopted by International Commission for the Conservation of the Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) in 2005. This recommendation significantly affected Taiwan's distant water fishing policy. This paper examines how Taiwan assimilated this outside force into its fishing policy as a new response to international fisheries management and how fishers perceived this response. It shows that Taiwan's efforts in controlling distant water fisheries marked a big change, specifically manifest in three noticeable actions - reducing excessive bigeye-targeted efforts, deterring IUU fishing, and strengthening fisheries management. The study advises that management of small tuna vessels be effectively exercised and recommends future actions on providing subsidies for fishers to partially offset costs incurred by rule compliance, streamlining their administrative work, enhancing communication with them, putting more enforcement and meaningful penalties in place. Finally, the study indicates the existence of an interaction in the international fisheries management scheme, potentially favoring Taiwan to bargain for fishing rights and a favorable status in the participation of regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) in the future if it continues to exercise effective control of distant water fisheries.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Aquatic Science
- Environmental Science(all)
- Economics and Econometrics
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law