• Name: 社團法人嘉義縣鄉村永續發展協會
• Year of Establishment: 2010
• Located At: Dongshi Township, Chiayi County
• Did You Know That …?
The oyster production volume from Dongshi accounts for one-third of Taiwan's total output of the flat shellfish. Along with Taiwan Tilapia, mullet, milkfish, and eel, oyster is named one of the most representative fishery products of Chiayi County.
• Site: https://www.ntcri.gov.tw/communityinfo_190_143.html
Visitors enjoying marine delicacies at restaurants in Dongshi, Chiayi County, may be amazed by the unique utensils serving local specialties. "Oyster shell tempered Dongshi pottery (蚵化東石陶)" in forms of coasters, bowls, cups, to plates has become as famous as the Oyster Trellis at Dongshi fishing habor, and the creation of these stylish local crafts is closely related to local efforts in environmental conservation and sustainability.
Established in July 2010, Chiayi County Everlasting Development Association (CCEDA) has been dedicated to ecological conservation, transformation and upgrading of agriculture, and promotion of rural tourism. Furthermore, it has been encouraging residents in the coastal township, known for its oyster farming, to preserve local features and to cultivate environmental sustainability awareness.
Tourists to Dongshi could hardly avoid the oceanic smell from oyster farms. For many residents, oysters' farming remains a family business for generations, and for the local community, it plays a very important role in local economy
However, for years, piles of shucked oyster shells outside of houses and on roadside became environmental problem of Dongshi. Joining the efforts of local community, the association promoted a creative idea to turn the trash into treasure, and many residents are now creating "Oyster shell tempered Dongshi pottery (蚵化東石陶)" of personal characteristics.
From handmade coasters, bowls, cups, to plates, these potteries are all created with cultural distinctiveness of the town. To introduce the crafts with local touch, restaurants have cooperated with fishermen to serve marine delicacies on plates made of the shells, so that the guests can appreciate the artistic shell tempered utensils while enjoying gourmet.
Local residents would mix clay, oyster shell powders, wheat straws, and corn leaves as ceramic material to duplicate antiques, reminiscent of the traditional characteristics of the fishing village.
A public educational initiative was launched by the community to invite local residents to participate in the oyster shells pottery production creativity program. During the slack season and some leisure evenings, people of different age groups would come together and create potteries with personal touches.
On Aug. 23, 2018 when southern Taiwan was devastated by torrential rain and flooding, Dongshi was no exception. After the natural disaster, while working on cleaning-up, local residents saw the possibilities of turning the flood mud and soil of broken fish pond edging into pottery materials. They have again demonstrated the creative ability to turn trash into treasure.
To build a culture of craftsmanship and to promote environmental protection awareness, local community has turned the venue of an abandoned elementary school into an educational space showing the progress of environmental protection awareness and the development of community consensus and vision of "green living."
Dongshi, like many other rural areas, is facing the problem of exodus of young people. The community hopes that the creation of "Oyster shell tempered Dongshi pottery" will revive hometown memories of those, who have left home to seek career opportunities, and arouse their interest in the Dongshi progress story. The residents also hope that consumers, having learned the turning trash into treasure story, will be interested in having the unique potteries as their household utensils.