The Council of Agriculture’s Fisheries Agency yesterday said Taiwan’s total catch of saury has reached more than 160,000 tonnes this year, the second highest in the world.
According to the agency, the saury fishing season lasts from about June to November and is mainly centered on the northwestern Pacific.
Fisheries Agency Director-General James Sha (沙志一) said about 164,300 tonnes of saury were caught during this year’s season — 4,000 more tonnes than last year — the second-highest figure recorded, as well as the second-highest total catch in the world, behind Japan’s average of 200,000 tonnes each year.
The agency said according to scientific research, saury resources in the northwestern Pacific are still abundant. As fishing vessels catch saury by taking advantage of its phototactic behavior, whereby the fish is attracted to light sources, the impact of saury fishing on other fish species is limited, making it a sustainable marine resource.
Huang Wen-bin (黃文彬), a professor at National Dong Hwa University’s Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Studies, said saury have an average life expectancy of about two years.
Taiwan’s fishing industry catches about 15 percent of the estimated total amount of saury in the northern Pacific, which is considered a reasonable amount.
Taiwan Squid Fishery Association chairman Shi Jiao-min (施教民) said about 85 Taiwanese vessels fished for saury this year.
Saury is rich in protein and vitamins A, D, E and B2. It also contains polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as EPA and DHA, which help to prevent heart disease.
The agency is encouraging the public to eat more of the fish, which it added is relatively inexpensive.
Additional reporting by Staff writer