Taiwan had taken center stage again at the 7th International Discus Championship in Duisburg, Germany in 2008. It had not only defeated more than 90 participating countries but also won the world championship three times in a row, becoming the first and only three-time champion. To celebrate the accomplishment, the Council of Agriculture had invited the winner of world championship, Mr. Ya-shan Chang, to the press conference for an award ceremony on December 12th. The Council would also announce the intention to develop the ornamental fish industry in Taiwan as a new main item for export.
According to the Council of Agriculture, Mr. Ya-shan Chang’s enduring passion for and commitment to discus fish were the driving force behind the success at the International Discus Championship in Germany in October. The Council of Agriculture wished to award Mr. Chang a medal for boosting national pride. In addition to Mr. Ya-shan Chang’s grand championship, the entries from Taiwan won 5 gold medals, 3 silvers, and 2 bronzes in 12 categories. It was the highest number of medals overall. This year’s repeated grand world championship after 2004 and 2006 demonstrated the strength of the ornamental fish industry in Taiwan.
The Council of Agriculture again pointed out that Asia was the largest export region for ornamental fish, accounting for nearly 60% of the global production. Taiwan faced keen competition from the neighboring countries in this US$5 billion world market. Therefore, President Ma’s agricultural policy had declared the ornamental fish industry to be a key export industry. The Council had organized the Ornamental Fish and Aquatic Plant Seeds Development Project to promote and conduct research in development of new species and cultivation techniques through related projects. The aim was to expand operations in markets including Europe, America, Japan, and China while establishing a database for ornamental fish and providing marketing assistance for core fisheries. It was expected to promote export of ornamental fish and increase the profits for Taiwan’s fishermen.
Finally, the Council of Agriculture indicated that the world champion discus fish, successfully domestically bred clown fish, and ecosystem fish tanks with mother discus fish and offspring had been displayed on site at the press conference. All participants had seen the beauty of these colorful discus fish.