A Shark Paradise in Taiwan (Dis)appears: From Shark Soup to Shark Diving

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Among many species of fish, sharks play a special role due to a tradition of consuming shark products in countries inhabited by ethnic Chinese. Offering dishes based on shark meat to guests showed hospitality, brought happiness, health and wealth. Currently, the attitude towards use of these species in Taiwan is changing and increasingly many people decide to protect them. As a consequence, educational campaigns on sharks have been launched, followed by a growing demand for tourist services related to sharks, especially watching these animals in their natural habitat.
The goal of this study is to analyse unique conditions for development of shark-related ecosystem services in Taiwan, especially ecotourism. Key variables analysed are rising level of environmental awareness, support of formal and informal institutions and existence of role models for business. The paper presents a case study of a company offering shark diving, social and institutional conditions for its operations and their consequences for stakeholders. Research methods applied in this paper include a case study supported by document analysis, as well as individual interviews. Results show that Taiwan has favourable conditions to develop this market niche and coin a new ecosystem service from an ancient tradition. However, there are still major social challenges to overcome.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTaiwan’s Exceptionalism
EditorsAnna Rudakowska, Ewa Trojnar, Agata W. Ziętek
PublisherJagiellonian University Press
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-83-233-7085-7
ISBN (Print)978-83-233-4799-6
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • sharks
  • eco-tourism
  • marine tourism
  • embeddedness
  • environmental awareness


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