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Mackerel's Hometown Nan-Fang-Ao

Mackerel Business

Mackerel Fishing

     There are large encircling net (purse seine) vessels, which gather at Nan-Fang-Ao. Among which, the Mackerel is a fisherman's favorite because of high Mackerel values such as protein content. (Top 3) However, it has low fats and calories. Like most other fishes, the Mackerel has good light-gathering properties. It is therefore easy to capture at night. The Mackerel normally maintains its slender and muscular form. It is thus difficult to catch. By autumn and winter, fat deposits quickly build up inside the Mackerel. Fat is deposited in the facial region. Its eyes get smaller and its vision deteriorates. By this time, it becomes less swift making it easily caught with a fish rod or net. This is the reason why Mackerels are abundant in Nan-Fang-Ao around autumn and winter season. They taste better around this time too!
     Approximately 150tons of catch per net is captured. It requires several truck transports. The main fishing grounds are waters between Peng Chia Yu and Fishing Islands. Catch season starts from May to February the following year. By March and April, operation is carried out in high seas nearby Korea. The Eastern Sea is also a fishing ground for vessel groups. Each group has a netter, 2 light vessels, and 2-3 carriers. Each operation at sea takes up to 25 days during which period only the carriers return to port to load food and water before returning to sea for operation. The netter is the command center of encircling net (purse seine) vessels. Under the leadership of the well experienced captain, fishing operations such as net release and haul are performed. Meanwhile, the light vessels also lure shoals of fish to gather to facilitate fish netting onto the carriers. The netter weighs about 350 tons. It has a large oil compressor used in net release and haul.

References: (Chinese)

Mackerel frozen foods processing technique

     The Mackerel is the major yield of fishery in the nation. It is a red meat, the pH value decreases drastically and decays easily after death. It is mainly processed into tomato sauced canned food, salted food, and dried fish. It is an aquatic animal of high production volume but low value. 

   There is abundant production in season. The low fish price often results to losses on the part of the fishermen. Therefore, Mackerel processing has been an emphasis over the years. Recently, due to economic development needs of our country, we endeavored to join the World Trade Organization (WTO). In the future, importing low-priced fishes after joining WTO will be inevitable. By then, Mackerel products will face major impacts. The low raw material price is important when developing Mackerel products of high economic value to suit consumer preference. 

   Mackerel products are good protein sources. The fat also contains rich Eicosa Pentaenoic Acid (EPA) beneficial to health. However, due to abundant supply and simplified processing methods, people in our country regard Mackerels as low priced products. Frozen Mackerel products, on the contrary, are highly developed and economically valuable. If high-priced preparation methods are adopted, product image is expected to improve. 

   People in our country are enthusiastic about Chinese medicinal food supplements. Medicinal foods have become very popular in recent years. They are regarded as high-priced products with added values. Thus, with Mackerel as the main ingredient, some of the 45 Chinese medicinal herbs are selected as supplemental ingredients in food. The medicinal properties and the taste of Mackerel are combined into Chinese style seafood products. The economic image of the medicinal food not only enhances the economic value of Mackerel products, it also improves the standard of diet for consumers.

Reference: (Chinese)


Mackerel  Values

    Nan-Fang-Ao has the most Mackerel production in the nation. Yilan County Government is planning to hold Mackerel Day activities at Third Fishing Port, Nan-Fang-Ao on the 27th, and the 28th. There will be live Mackerels, Mackerel BBQ on-site, and 1000kg of Mackerel giveaways sponsored by fish vendors. The public is welcome to join the lotto on the day. County Government Fisheries Section pointed out that there is a variety of ways in which Mackerels can be prepared. Ex. salted, canned, fried, cooked, barbequed, and fried. Mackerel Sashimi (raw fish) is also tasty like Tuna and Marlin. Su-Ao Fishing Association Chief Operating Officer Lin Yue-Ying said that she visited Germany with her supervisor in the county government once. The Germans barbequed a big and fat Mackerel and it tasted great. She never saw people doing the same in Taiwan. It was something new for her. Fisheries Section expressed that 6 barbeque grills have been ordered for Mackerel day. The public will experience the fun of barbequing Mackerels. In Germany, a barbequed Mackerel costs NT$400, but it will only cost NT$20 on Mackerel Day. Staffs will first clean the fish and sprinkle salt on it. Mackerels are in season now, the fat and juicy Mackerels are perfect for BBQ. Fishermen’s Association will sponsor 1,000kg of Mackerel. 400kg of which will be barbequed, and the rest (600kg) will serve as prize for lotto draws on the 27th, and 28th. Those who correctly guess the weight of the fish will bring home packaged Mackerel for free. Over the past few days, fishermen had been requested to catch some live Mackerels so the public will be able to watch live Mackerels in water.

Reference: (Chinese)

    The Mackerel has extensive use. After capture, it can be made into long-line bait, or it can be directly transported to fish markets for sell. It may also be used as an ingredient in cooking, (salted, canned, steamed, fried, cooked, barbequed, and deep-fried) or it can be processed into canned foods, and Mackerel cakes etc. 

Bait: it is used as bait in large shark, and marlin long-line operations. Mackerel is supplemented as bait prior to operation. 

Seafood: Mackerel is a surface pelagic fish found in Nan-Fan-Ao inshore seas. Freshness is preserved. Mackerel Sashimi, steamed Mackerel, and fried Mackerel are all delicious as food.

Salted: it is processed into dried fish or salted fish. It is fresh and has high nutrient values.

Refrigeration or Freezing: it is an ingredient for dried fish or canned fish.

Canning: Sour and sweet tomato sauce, fresh fish meat, and soft fish bones. The meat is tender, fragrant, and delicious. Currently, there are 10 Mackerel canning and processing factories in Su-Ao region such as Tong Yeng, San-Yu, Lao-Chuan-Chang, Ho-Bao, and Dong-He etc.

Mackerel Cake: Due to the high nutrient value and low cost of the Mackerel, it is an ideal processed food. Fish cakes are generally classified into "Marlin Cake", "Squid Cake" and "Fish Cake". Mackerel Cakes contain shorter fibers, thus, cakes produced are finer in texture. It is ideal for seniors and children.

Reference: (Chinese)