Liao Yijiu, a pioneer in aquaculture who escaped white terror and founded the Kingdom of Grass Shrimp, risked his life for Taiwan's fishing industry

Published: 2024-02-28 Author: mysheen
Last Updated: 2024/02/28, Liao Yijiu, a pioneer in aquaculture who escaped white terror and founded the Kingdom of Grass Shrimp, risked his life for Taiwan's fishing industry

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Liao Yijiu, who is 85 years old, faces the Pacific Ocean in the research lab of Ocean University. For 17 years, he has welcomed the ebb and flow of the tide and ushered in his octogenarian.

The window of the research room can not hold the boundless blue sky and sea, but it can frame the limited life. Around the Mid-Autumn Festival, Liao Yijiu received the news of the death of several old friends. before the interview, he said for no reason: "I don't even know."

I don't know what? Liao Yijiu said angrily, "all the bad guys live long, and those who leave are all good people." After the pioneer of the Donggang branch of the Fisheries Research Institute, the first place in the study of grass shrimp in Taiwan, and numerous award-winning aquatic experts at home and abroad won these proud titles with unparalleled perseverance, Liao Yijiu expressed a feeble sigh and sigh for his fate.

Liao Yijiu, the "father of grass shrimp", pioneered the technology of artificial breeding of shrimp fry, which once won Taiwan the title of "grass shrimp kingdom." (photography / Yang Yuyun) inspired by Grandpa's fish pond and biology class, studying aquatic products is the first choice.

During the Japanese occupation, Liao Chung-hsiung, the eldest son of the head of Fengyuan Street, went to study in Tokyo and married Taichung director's daughter Jieko Sato in Japan, and then gave birth to their eldest son, Liao Yijiu.

Born in Tokyo in 1936, Liao Yijiu did not return to his hometown Fengyuan with his parents until the age of four. The extent to which the eldest son and grandson of this political family are loved can be seen in the complete picture of growing up. Self-taught toddlers, to Pianpian young, Liao Yijiu Ying in the photo with a spirit of beauty, eyes reveal the certainty and expectation of a bright future.

After graduating from Taichung No. 1 Middle School, Liao Yijiu was admitted to the Fisheries Biology Section of the Department of Zoology of National Taiwan University as his first choice. He is interested in aquatic products because when he was a child, he often watched swimming fish in the pond where Ah Gong raised grass carp. coupled with the inspiration of his junior and high school biology teachers, he was more sure of his interest in animal research.

There are only 13 students in the "fishery biology group". The relationship between the students is very good, and they still keep in touch with each other for many years. However, what he misses most is his savior, Wang Youxie, head of the zoology department.



Enter primary school at the age of 8 (courtesy of Liao Yijiu)



Studying in the junior high school of Taichung No. 1 Middle School (1949-1952) (courtesy of Liao Yijiu) due to the rescue of Wang Youxie, dean of the department, he was saved from white terror.

The university lives in a student dormitory, and Liao Yijiu worries about the country and the people with like-minded friends. At that time, Chiang Kai-shek planned to be re-elected for a third term, and in order to create the illusion of "popular support", the government put up posters everywhere, even the supposedly neutral university campus. In order to express that "not all Taiwanese support him" and "Chiang Kai-shek is unconstitutional," Liao Yijiu marked a big X on the poster with a signature pen. It was a time of white horror, and he was arrested by plainclothes police on the spot after committing a crime, but he had already made up his mind: "the worst thing is to go to Green Island to be an islander."

Fortunately, Wang Youxie, dean of the department, made friends with Chiang Ching-kuo and immediately interceded for Liao Yijiu, "Don't torture my students." Liao Yijiu said: "although I was not tortured at that time, but they did not let me sleep, have been tired interrogation." All I have to do is give up my classmates, but I won't betray anyone. " How can he survive when he is in his twenties? He said: "I have always reasoned with them that the Constitution stipulates that the president can only be re-elected once. I said that Hu Shi and Lei Zhen can also be presidents." Liao Yijiu was released after eight days in custody after failing to find out anything about subverting the government.

Later, Wang Youxie helped Liao Yijiu write a letter of recommendation for studying abroad. in principle, all he had to do was to sign the letter of recommendation translated into Japanese, but Wang Youxie, who did not know Japanese, actually copied and "sketched" a letter of recommendation in Japanese. "it's not easy for him to love his students so much!" Liao Yijiu said.

The graduate of the department of zoology of National Taiwan University took a group photo with Professor Wang Youxie, dean of the department. The seventh on the left was Liao Yijiu (courtesy of Liao Yijiu) who won a scholarship to study in Japan and acquired a complete culture technique of spotted shrimp.

Liao Yijiu's goal of studying abroad is simple: the best and strictest school. He joined Professor Tae-hsiung Oshima of the University of Tokyo. Both his doctoral thesis and master's thesis studied the bait preference and feeding behavior of spotted shrimp. He did not go to bed for seven days and nights. After that, he went to the "Banjie Shrimp Research Laboratory" by Japanese shrimp giant Teng Yongyuan to conduct a postdoctoral study on shrimp artificial reproduction, and he had a comprehensive understanding of shrimp culture.

Liao Yijiu said that when he went to study in Japan during the period of Japan's postwar revival, Prime Minister Ikeda shouted the slogan of "doubling Japan's income," and all kinds of scientific research was in full swing. Liao Yijiu "synchronized" his studies with Japan's top scholars, and then transferred the whole set of shrimp culture techniques to Taiwan, where he put into grass shrimp research and soon yielded results, all thanks to solid training during the period of studying in Japan.

When invited to serve in Taiwan, it is difficult to find shrimp.

After six and a half years of studying abroad, the Agricultural Restoration Council (the predecessor of the Council of Agriculture) used subsidies from the Rockefeller Foundation (Rockefeller Foundation) to invite Liao Yijiu to return to Taiwan to work. He said that when he left Haneda Airport on July 21, 1968, his colleagues at Dongda wrote "long live Dr. Liao" in their old experimental robes to bid him farewell; on the same day, after the plane landed at Songshan Airport, the villagers of Fengyuan also pulled red cloth strips to welcome him. These hospitality let him know that he had expectations on his shoulders, and he was more eager to serve what he had learned in the land where he was raised.

When Liao Yijiu left Haneda Airport, his peers pulled up the "long live Dr. Liao" cloth made of experimental clothes to see him off on his way home (courtesy of Liao Yijiu)

On the same day, enthusiastic Fengyuan villagers went to Songshan Airport to welcome Liao Yijiu, who had been absent for more than six years and three months. (courtesy of Liao Yijiu)

Unfortunately, although he was ordered to build the Donggang branch of the Fisheries Research Institute, the acquisition of land at that time had yet to be negotiated with the military, so Liao Yijiu first reported to the Tainan branch. It was raining heavily and I had to walk a long muddy road to Yukeng. "I wore rain shoes that day. Every step I took, my rain shoes got stuck in the mud, and I had to work hard to pick up my rain shoes and move on," he recalled. "at that time, I thought, it's like this on my first day at work, and I'm afraid the road will not be easy."

Oddly enough, this idea seems to have helped Liao Yijiu get vaccinated. Any difficulties he encounters after that, he will think of that rainy day and that pair of rain shoes. This little thing has become the strength to support him and gives him the courage to face many difficulties that followed.

For example, the acquisition of shrimp is the first difficulty. Liao Yijiu went to the Donggang fishing market to look for grass shrimp, but all the shrimp sold in the market were dead shrimps. Fortunately, Lin Jinsheng, director of the Donggang Fisheries Association, promised to help him find live shrimps, and then contacted him by telegram, and the two agreed to deliver the goods at Tainan Railway Station.

Lin Chin-sheng put a female shrimp holding shrimp eggs in a bucket and transported them to Tainan by bike, probably because the transportation process shook so much that the shrimp did not know when to "escape." Lin Jinsheng wanted to cry without tears, but the optimistic Liao Yijiu comforted him.

Later, Liao Yijiu searched in many ways, and finally found the kind of shrimp he wanted, and two of them successfully propagated the first batch of artificial grass shrimp seedlings, leading the world. From the process of division, hatching and metamorphosis of fertilized eggs to the breeding of shrimp seedlings, Liao Yijiu photographed them all, leaving precious research records.

Calloused hands and feet to establish the kingdom of grass and shrimp

After the military released the land of the Donggang branch, Liao Yijiu took office in Donggang, and only then did he know that the so-called "place" was only a beach of a beach, and the only building was a small changing room! At first, all the experimental research and daily life were completed in that small space. It was not until there were interns in the winter and summer vacation that they dug sand to build ponds and build a breeding environment, and then slowly fought for funds, and all kinds of software and hardware were in place one after another.

There is a bed next to the experimental equipment of Donggang Branch, which can be described as "mermaid sharing". (courtesy of Liao Yijiu)

Liao Yijiu made two main contributions to grass shrimp culture. he introduced artificial breeding technology and promoted intensive farming methods to create the name of Taiwan's "prawn kingdom."

After mating, the female shrimp will put the sperm in the "seminal vesicle" and automatically expel the sperm when laying eggs, allowing the sperm and eggs to mate in water. The number of eggs laid by a species of shrimp is as high as 400000, and those with larger size lay nearly a million eggs at a time. Shrimp eggs hatch after about 14 hours, and after nauplius, eye larvae, prawn stage larvae, late larvae, young shrimp, adult shrimp and other stages of growth and metamorphosis, they can be put in the pond and sold three or four months later.

Before Liao Yijiu introduced aquaculture techniques, Taiwan prawns were mainly caught in the wild, and the breeding rate of shrimp eggs was difficult to control. However, Liao Yijiu controls the breeding water temperature, seawater salinity and bait at each stage from shrimp eggs to adult shrimp, such as diatoms for eye larvae, shrimp for harvest years, and fish pulp for young shrimps, and adjusts the feeding of bait according to shelling conditions, weather and other factors. Various science and technology have greatly increased the number of shrimp eggs.

In the past, fishermen mixed grass shrimp fry with milkfish fish, and grass shrimp was only a by-product of breeding along the way. However, Liao Yijiu promotes the intensive culture of grass shrimp, choosing a suitable site to build a culture pond, using plastic pipes to introduce sea water, cooperating with aeration equipment to increase dissolved oxygen, and then raising the shrimp in stages according to the size of the shrimps. The larger the size, the easier it is to develop. Therefore, it can be raised in high density. At the same time, he also worked out various stages of procedures such as pond cleaning, water injection, stocking, and harvest according to scientific data, so that shrimp farmers could compare them.

Since the success of artificial breeding of grass shrimp in 1968, Liao Yijiu has continuously devoted himself to the research and development of feed and other breeding techniques, which has led to the rapid development of the grass shrimp industry. in 1987, the output value of grass shrimp reached the highest point: 95,000 metric tons, accounting for about 1/5 of the cultured shrimp in the world at that time. Taiwan won the title of "Grass Shrimp Kingdom".