True to form, government administrators and representatives of research institutes blamed the recent sickness affecting abalone on a viral infection associated with “continental cold water.”
They concluded that the only solution was a complete ban on abalone farming for two to three years, or for producers to quit abalone farming entirely. While this enabled officials to shrug off their responsibilities, it also caused producers to lose faith in the government.
As time goes on, aquatic cultivation will be an increasingly important source of animal protein for humankind. Taiwan has a chance of recovering its place on the world aquaculture scene — but it all depends on whether it can sincerely confront the problems it faces and whether it is bold enough to make whatever reforms are needed.
Du Yu is chief executive officer of the Chen-Li Task Force for Agricultural Reform.
Translated by Julian Clegg