Excellent Neighbor Fishermen Build-up Project

No.482, Jhongjhou 3rd Rd., Cijin District, Kaohsiung City 80543, Taiwan
Current LocationExcellent Neighbor Fishermen Build-up Project

Opportunities and Courage of Returning Youth

The Taiwan government has promoted regional revitalization since 2019 and encouraged young people to return to their hometowns to build a local industry then to shape local production along with ecology and daily life. However, it takes opportunity and courage for the young people to return home. National Kaohsiung University of Science and Technology’s University Social Responsibility (USR) program is consequently to utilize “鄰家好漁形塑計畫Excellent Neighbor Fishermen Build-up Project” providing the returning youth with opportunities and courage.

It has been around six years since the trial period of the USR program, and the Excellent Neighbor Fishermen Build-up Project has been run in Linbian Township and Jiadong Township in Pingtung County for several years. Ultimately, with the support of all resources, National Kaohsiung University of Science and Technology (NKUST) has set up “Innovation Service Center (ISC)” and the demonstration fishing ground. Through those efforts, we expect to build the platform among NKUST’s Excellent Neighbor Fishermen Build-up Project, reginal residents and the local fishermen, and then to accompany the local youth when involving them in the regional revitalization.

Regional revitalization requires industry access opportunities and the courage to move forward. Currently there is a stationed staff of the USR Program in the Innovation Service Center, Mr. Hsieh, Min Hua, who is an alumni of the Department and Graduate Institute of Aquaculture, NKUST. Mr. Hsieh has great enthusiasm on aquaculture; however, he had kept his dream because of lacking opportunity and courage until he received call from NKUST’s mentor. With USR Program’s demonstration fishing ground and NKUST professors’ technical assistances, Mr. Hsieh has gained the opportunity of engaging aquaculture in his hometown and the courage of participating in regional revitalization. NKUST’s Excellent Neighbor Fishermen Build-up Project takes Taiwan’s fisheries issue as the project starting point. Through the school's professional capabilities in aquaculture, food science, engineering technology, marketing and management, we assist fishermen to utilize probiotic application on the aquaculture in order to reduce chemical medication, to improve the breeding environment and fish health with smart monitoring technology, to increase the value of fishery products with food science research and development, and to rise fishermen's income by integrating virtual and actual marketing and management. After the practical experience of the demonstration fishery, the school's cross-disciplinary professional guidance and the cooperation of the local industries, Mr. Hsieh has made great progress on Linbian and Jiadong aquaculture industries.

The job of a stationed staff is not easy, such as feeding fish and shrimp five times a day in the demonstration fishing ground, helping catch fish and shrimp while harvesting, assisting the cooperative local fishermen to deliver product, supporting the education of food and fish, and aiding fishing village experience activities. Furthermore, he needs to know how to cook, marketing the USR program and local aquatic products. Sometimes, he could only have simple instant noodles as regular meal while busy. Although this job is not easy, Mr. Hsieh still sticks with it because he knows that the seed of regional revitalization dream is growing.

Local linkage and human resource development are the two core values of the USR program. For the purpose of the USR program connection with reginal residents and cooperative local fishermen, NKUST sets up the Innovation Service Center. Luckily, we have a local young man who is willing to station. He remains outstanding interaction with local partners and listens to their requirements anytime. Now, Innovation Service Center has melted into the neighborhood. When neighbor residents want to buy fish, they will walk here along with their friends. But they sometimes come here not for buying fish; they just simply want to check this young man and have a chat.

The USR program has executed in Linbian and Jiadong for couple years. Because of the program support and staff station, NKUST has discovered multiple excellent changes. For instance, we utilize probiotic to improve the water quality in demonstration fishing ground and achieve the friendly breeding goals, such as reducing chemical medication, saving water and electricity. Also, we counsel local breeding youths to implement the friendly breeding method, which is significantly effective. Through assistances of professors and students from Department of Industrial Design, NKUST, we successfully aid local fishermen to improve the image of the fishery and create a brand new fishing village culture. We understand that walking on this path to regional revitalization is a slow, long and tough journey, but we have a faith that it is a worthy and sustainable operation. If you have a chance to visit Linbian, you should stop by the Innovation Service Center. You definitely will discover a simple and quiet place which is full with the characteristics a fishing town. And here is a young man who seizes the opportunity of regional revitalization and moves forward without fear and hesitation.

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