This study provides a detailed study of the fishing nation of Taiwan at a regional and local level in order to address the lack of academic research into the Taiwanese fishing industry in comparison to other nations. Over three stages of analysis it identifies the reasons for the rise and decline of Taiwanese distant-water fisheries. The first stage examines the broader historical background, government policy, and birth of the Taiwanese fishing industry. The second explores the industry at a national level, analysing the relationships between fishing, government, military, and ancillary industries. The third approach narrows the scope to individual fishing communities and explores the working lives and cultural habits of the fishermen. The major focus is the port of Kaohsiung and how it became the major supply base for the fishing industry. It explores Taiwan’s relationship with Japan and the postwar decline due to Japan’s losses in the Second World War. Finally, it considers the development of Taiwanese colonial and postwar fishing policies. It concludes that modern fishing techniques were introduced from Japan, and emboldened Taiwanese fisherman to risk entering remote and foreign waters. The author suggests that further research into Taiwan take would help scholars better understand the history of distant-fisheries. The journal consists of nine chapters, an introduction and conclusion, a list of interviewees, and a bibliography of English and Chinese-language sources.