Development and Urbanization
This paper aims to understand the changing rural landscapes of fishery villages of Western Taiwan. Specifically, we focus on the everyday lives of oyster farmers, who have materialized the changing meanings of the tidal landscape of Changhua County. The southwestern seashore of Changhua County has been one of the major oyster production places in Taiwan. On the tidal area of Changhua County, in addition to the oyster farms, different kinds of landscape have juxtaposed on the seashore. These juxtapositions contain contested meanings regarding Taiwan’s tidal areas. From the perspective of economic development, the production of new tidal land conveys the governmental propaganda for modernization. On the other hand, from the perspective of natural conservation, the tidal area signifies a landscape of precious “wetland.” In accordance, the nature as well as the culture of “wetland” should be protected from development. The contrast and debate between “wasteland” and “wetland” of tidal landscape, though has continued, does not thoroughly provide the picture of dynamic nature-society relation in the era of globalization. These juxtapositions have been a material form of the ongoing relational processes mobilized through Taiwan’s struggles over connections among state governance, the global market economy, and the local natural conservation. This paper intends to look beyond the binary opposition between “wasteland development” and “wetland conservation.” Using a landscape political ecology approach, it sheds lights on re-regionalization and place making of Taiwan’s fishery villages by looking into the everyday lives of the oyster farmers.