Regional Environmental Change

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 679–691 | Cite as

How to amend land subsidence treatment policies to solve coastal subsidence problems in Taiwan

  • Peter Lin Sun
  • Chun-Chou Yang
  • Tai-Wai Lin
Original Article


Coastal land subsidence is a serious problem in Taiwan. Starting in 1995, the goal of the “Land Subsidence Prevention and Treatment Implementation Program” is to restructure the aquaculture industry to reduce groundwater consumption and reduce coastal land subsidence problems. However, this goal has not been met. This study aims to determine the reasons for its failure through a literature review and an analysis of questionnaires of stakeholders taken over a 5-year period, and design a new program to resolve these problems. The study was conducted in 2005–2009. According to the literature, over-pumping of groundwater around densely concentrated coastal fish ponds is the primary cause of coastal land subsidence. However, the key measure of the program was to establish aquaculture districts primarily in subsiding coastal areas, which failed to reduce land subsidence. In addition, the program did not consider reductions in agricultural and industrial groundwater use. Results of the questionnaire survey were in accord with the literature review results. This paper proposes to establish a “Fish Farming Abandonment Program” offering compensation payments and job training to fish farmers who leave the aquaculture business, thus reducing the amount of coastal land devoted to fish farming, decreasing groundwater consumption, and halting further coastal subsidence. In addition, the proposal also suggests adjustments to the structure of the agriculture industry. The results of this study can serve as a reference for governments of Taiwan and other countries.


Aquaculture Land subsidence Coastal area Fish farming abandonment Questionnaire Groundwater 



The authors would like to thank the members of Taiwan’s aquaculture industry who participated in the questionnaire interviews.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of AquacultureNational Pingtung University of Science and TechnologyNei-Pu, PingtungTaiwan, ROC

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