2012 New History
P. O. Box 1-44, Nankang, Taipei 11529, Taiwan, R. O. C.
02-2782-9555 # 226

History in a Broken Mirror: Reflections on the Writings of Fisheries in Taiwan

Pingyi Chu

Institute of History and Philology, Sinica Academia

This paper examines historical documents related to fisheries written by scholars and bureaucrats involved in the administration of fisheries. The bureaucrats of fisheries tended to employ statistics, charts, and chronology to compose their stories. Despite the seemingly objective representation, their narratives are also ideologicaly charged; they attempt to legitimate the subjugating relationship between Taiwan and China after 1945. Scholarly works in this area focus more on the relationship between fishery practices and the life of fishermen. These different genres of writing emerge from various social fields, orchestrating various historical senses and facts arising from the multifarious experience of the writers. While these voices may echo or cancel each other, this paper does not intend to privilege any of them, in this way attempting to preserve the diversified historical experience of the agents. History, after all, is not a commemoration for the deceased but a toolkit for the living. The history of fisheries is no exception.


Keywords: Taiwan, fisheries, historiography