Fish Market at Nanfang Ao, a fishing port located near the city of Yilan on Taiwans east coast.

Fish Market at Nanfang Ao, Taiwan

Every morning at the crack of dawn the dock at Nan Fang Ao, located outside the city of Suao along Taiwan’s east coast, becomes a flurry of activity with fishing vessels unloading their catch and buyers lining up to bid on the bounty pulled from the sea.

Nanfang Ao, a fishing port located near the city of Suao on Taiwan’s east coast.

On this particular day fishing vessels were arriving loaded with tuna. Some exceeding 300 kilos! I think it’s the first time I’ve seen a fish of this size. To stand on the dock and watch as these big fish were being lifted from the hulls of these fishing boats was an impressive site. I think the largest fish I’ve ever caught was a twelve inch rainbow trout.

As each fish is lifted from the boat it is first weighed and given an auction tag and then brought into the open air building where it placed in a line with other fish and iced down. Buyers then will walk up and down the line of fish examining each one and plan which they hope to win in the auction. Some of the buyers carry a tool which can do a core sample of the fish they are interested in. Buyers are looking for tuna with lots of fat as that is what makes the best sashimi.

Within minutes the auction begins. The auctioneer will make his way from fish to fish encouraging more and more bids. The auction moves quickly. A moments hesitation and fish of your dreams can go to another buyer.