Yongan's Singang Fishing Village
Yongan's Singang Fishing Village
◎English translation: Hou Ya-ting
◎Photos by Wu Ke-wei
Yongan's Singang Fishing Village is located along Kaohsiung's gorgeous south-eastern, coastline. Its unique scenery and deep blue Taiwan Strait are truly captivating. It is a spectacular part of Kaohsiung.
Shihban Road runs through Yongan's Singang Village, which is famous for its aquaculture grouper farms. Since farmers knew it was important that regional trust was essential for their businesses to grow, they have collectively adopted "diamond water", which comes from a local CPC liquid natural gas plant. They discovered that by adopting higher quality, lower temperature water, the grouper become more invigorated and stronger. Farmers also work together on skill development, production and marketing. These efforts have paid off and Singang Fishing Village has developed a great reputation for its aquaculture.
Over the years, the Village has developed its own local culture. Singang Community Development Association was established to maintain traditions, the village's identity and restore its coastlines. Mr. Su Guo-jhen is the Director of the board. He has organized voluntary activities for local residents to participate in, including a series of Taiwanese beach seines and beach cleanups.
A Taiwanese beach seine is a traditional fishing technique and now more a community activity done at gatherings. The fishing method is carried out with two fishing boats. The fisherman on the two boats each holds one side of the gigantic fishing net. More than a dozen people will then encircle the fishing net on the beach. This was a tradition dating back to early times when they need people to control the fishing nets instead of the modern machines that are now used.
Growing up in Singang Fishing Village, the beach was a special place for Mr. Su Guo-jhen. He used to spend a lot of good time on it when he was a child. Mr. Su Guo-jhen's best childhood memories were when he would participate in Taiwanese beach seines. He remembers how everyone would come together as a community. Hence, when Mr. Su Guo-jhen and local residents began to revive Singang Fishing Village's maritime culture, they hosted a series of Taiwanese beach seines. He felt the activity had been successful in promoting Singang Fishing Village's cultural identity.
During another beach cleanup, volunteers found a discarded boat, armor blocks and drift wood, which they transformed into an art installation. This was the first coastal park collaborative that had been created by locals. This created renewed confidence in the village, and residents hoped they could attract more visitors to the region. Elderly residents proposed to lead a series of Taiwanese beach seines with visitors dragging fishing nets and present the beach's history. Visitors could also experience traditional fishing and visit grouper farms. There they could feed and hold the groupers. During the tour, the fish farmers would also teach visitors how to make miniature bamboo rafts, grouper shaped soap and earrings made out of grouper scales. Visitors can also have lunch in the village and enjoy local grouper, while chatting with locals. Residents hope by attracting more visitors to the region, it will create a more modern and lively image of the village.