Hugu Setuj from Pongso no Tao island (Orchid Island, off the coast of Taiwan), explains the traditional and community management of his island’s fisheries, which is borne out of a deep respect and understanding of marine life and biodiversity.
Tao mythology tells of an inter-species pact between the Tao and black flying fish ancestors, and an agreement to use appropriate fishing methods. The lunar and ecological calendar (ahehep no tao) govern the Tao seas to this day. Three distinct seasons, according to the life cycles of fish, determine which species, and whether the coral reefs or high seas, are fished. The Tao eat 180 different species of fish in total, all at different times of year, to distribute pressure on the food chain. The amian season is designated for farming, in which 50 varieties of local crops are cultivated.
Above all, the Tao system could represent an alternative multidimensional zoning system for the conservation of natural resources and the environment, as the basis for community sustainability, food diversity and food sovereignty.