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Documentary series produced by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Geographic Channel, Taiwan: Island of Fish, showcases another side of Taiwan’s soft power

January 28, 2015
Background Information No. 003

The fifth season of Taiwan to the World, a documentary series produced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and the National Geographic Channel, had its worldwide premiere at 10pm on February 2 in Taiwan. Comprised of five episodes entitled “Amazing Aquarium,” “Big Catch,” “Fish Made-to-Order,” “Promised Fish,” and “Taste of Fish,” the fifth series, called Taiwan: Island of Fish, is scheduled to air around the world from July. It will shine a light on the remarkable knowledge, innovation, and resilience with which the people of Taiwan utilize ocean resources.

The series was unveiled at a launch ceremony and press conference held at Huashan 1914 Creative Park in Taipei City on January 28. The event was attended by President Ma Ying-jeou, Minister of Foreign Affairs David Y. L. Lin, National Geographic Channel Asia Senior Vice President Joanna Tsai, and over 100 guests, including ambassadors and representatives to the Republic of China.
In his remarks, President Ma began by commending MOFA and the National Geographic Channel for cooperating on producing numerous films about Taiwan, covering a wide variety of themes, that have been broadcast in more than 100 countries worldwide and amassed an impressive 16 international awards. He added that this series is especially meaningful as it presents the unique nature of Taiwan’s fisheries industry from an array of different perspectives, from gourmet eating, human interest stories, and ecology, to the economy, science, and government policy.

The president also underlined that it is Taiwan’s prowess and prominence in the fisheries sector that has enabled the country to join such organizations as the North Pacific Fisheries Commission and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission as a “fishing entity,” and thereby protect the rights and interests of its fishermen internationally. For instance, the fisheries agreements that the ROC government reached with Japan and the Philippines allow Taiwan’s fishermen to operate free of interference. And in 2013, following the signing of the Taiwan-Japan fisheries agreement, the number of related disputes dropped to just one from 17 the previous year, and to zero in 2014.

Minister Lin, meanwhile, commented that Taiwan is a major distant water fishing nation and the government attaches considerable importance to the rights and interests of its fishermen. In recent years, MOFA has worked hard in international fishing organizations to encourage multilateral fisheries cooperation. He also emphasized that Taiwan abides by international regulations and promotes the sustainable development of ocean resources. (E)