Chiayi fish farmers combine high tech aquaculture with solar power

Let’s head now to Chiayi County for a look at the fisheries of tomorrow. Since 2021, the southern county has chosen 15 exceptional fish farmers to roll out a new high-tech system of aquaculture. The farmers’ association is increasing production with smart tech, and generating solar power at the same time. The locals hope the project will attract more young farmers into the field.
This 3.5-hectare fishpond is covered in solar panels. Along Chiayi’s coast, including in Budai and Dongshi Townships, fish farming and green energy are combined by many companies. This fisherman surnamed Chen took over his father’s fishpond more than 50 years ago.
Fisherman
We went and did solar panels. We signed the contract four years ago.
Lee Chien-lin
Chiayi Agriculture Dept.
The current area of aquaculture is about 5,800 hectares, of which almost 100 hectares are actually in operation.
But the large areas of fishponds covered in solar panels and leased out have decreased the active fisheries in the area. How to keep fishponds open is a big question. Chiayi County’s latest trick is smart aquaculture, which is transforming traditional fish farming.
Chen Hung-shuo
High tech aquaculture industry
If we talk about perch, for example, one pond might be three to four million, an extra 10-20% income. Then things might be different.
Jan Fan-hua
National Taiwan Ocean University
Firstly, with raising prawns, in the past it was a 30-40% survival rate. We can raise that to 85% or more.
With greater survival rates for fish, as well as the income from solar energy, these smart aquaculture policies are paying off. Officials and fish farmers have had their noses to the grindstone.
Weng Chang-liang
Chiayi County commissioner
The whole government is helping our fishers to transition towards smart agricultural technology. I think this will change the whole farming culture in Taiwan.
Lin Kuo-ping
Fisheries Agency, MOA
In the aquaculture industry, we have to improve as a whole. As we push forwards the combination of fisheries and energy production, we want to make sure we upgrade the technology of aquaculture both indoors and outdoors.
As traditional fish farming transforms into the fisheries of tomorrow, the county government is keen to roll out airtight policies that will attract more professionals into the field.
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