The history of the Jinshan District Fisherman's Association, which oversees the Jinshan and Shimen areas of New Taipei City, can be traced back to 1907, when fishermen in the Kanayama (the Japanese name for Jinshan) District formed the Jinbaoli Fisheries Association. After accepting funding for a project to improve their equipment, the association merged with other associations in Sandiao Bay, Bitou, and Keelung to form the Keelung Fisheries Association.
In 1939, in line with the Law on Formation of Fisheries Cooperatives, Jinshan-based fishermen established their own cooperative, which was then formalized into the Jinshan Fisheries Association in 1944 as the Japanese colonial government implemented controls on the industry. After the Nationalist government relocated to Taiwan, the association was renamed to the Jinshan County Fisherman's Association in 1950, and then the Jinshan District Fisherman's Association five years later.
Sulfuric fire fishing comes from an old fishing method used by the indigenous Pazeh people of Taiwan's northern coast. Making use of the flammable gas created by the reaction of calcium carbide with water, fishermen create massive flares that attract fish like Japanese sardinella (scaled sardine).
Decades ago, boats employing this method caught fish along the northern coast from Shimen in Taipei County (now New Taipei City) to Nanfang'ao in Yilan, but today, only four boats using it in Jinshan's Huanggang Fishing Port ("Sulfur Harbor") remain.
The Jinshan District Fisherman's Association is working hard to promote this unique fishing method, and in summer, the Jinshan coast becomes a mecca for photographers striving to capture the imagery of thousands of fish leaping out of the water toward the bright, transient flares.
Because of its short season and low economic viability, sulfuric fire fishing is on the verge of extinction. The Jinshan District Fishermen's Association is striving to keep the industry alive, working with local communities on operations, education, and tourism development, while also developing, producing, and promoting products around Japanese sardinella to boost the fish's economic value.