Fish-eating education

During their rapid economic development, European and North American countries perceived the constant change of national health and dietary habits and the disconnection between people and land caused by dietary convenience. Therefore, they targeted to make improvements by strengthening agricultural and dietary education. For example, the “slow food movement” launched by Italy in 1986, the “local production for local consumption” promoted by Japan early on and the “basic law on food education” approved by legislation in 2005, and the “Slow Fish” promoted by European and North American countries mainly integrate ocean, fishery knowledge, culture, as well as the concept of sustainable ocean and sustainable seafood. As an island nation surrounded by fishing grounds, Taiwan provides diverse aquatic resources and rich nutrition. The local citizenry eats seafood frequently but prefers imported salmon and cod. Due to the lack of understanding and a westernized diet, they do not prefer Taiwan’s fishery and aquatic products. Therefore, the promotion of fish-eating education has become the key to grab people’s attention toward agriculture, fishery, and a healthy diet.
Fish-eating education teaches the public, students, and children about knowledge concerning fish production and diet. Fish-eating education activities can be carried out in any classroom anywhere.

Through explanations, people can be taught to identify fish species, fishery categories, fishing gears, and fishing methods. They can also visit production areas and interact with producers (fishermen) to track the entire process of the industrial activities of fishing boats catching fish products from the ocean or from fish farms to tables. Through interactions and hands-on experiences, such as fish processing and cooking methods, people can learn how to cook and respect food. During fish-eating education promotion, the public not only can get fresh and low-carbon-emission aquatic products, but also help producers improve the local economy, thus benefitting environmental sustainability, social values, and economic development.
Due to a lack of understanding on and attention toward the marine fishery, in recent years through the efforts of industries, governments, and universities to promote fish-eating education, the public has gradually begun to understand fishery activities via the curriculum design. For example, Sheng-hsing Li, a Gongliao Abalone farmer among the Top Hundred Young Farmers, Ming-liao Chen of Changhua Ha Ha Fish, and Hsiao-ching Lin of Tainan coFishland are Taiwan’s main fish-eating education promoters in recent years. When going to fishing villages, visitors can take in-depth tours to learn about the background knowledge of all seafood on the table and find the relationships among fishery production, environmental ecology, and food culture.