Origin

About | Tai Sang Wai

Around 30 to 40 years ago, the zone of the yet-to-be-built Fairview Park next to Tai Sang Wai was a fishpond area. Due to the construction of the residential complex, the inhabitants there were relocated to Tai Sang Wai. Nowadays, there are about 70 residences in Tai Sang Wai while most occupants are elderly. Among all villagers, 3 or 4 of them are still engaging in fish farming.

 

Adjacent to the Mai Po Nature Reserve, Tai Sang Wai is located within the Ramsar Convention Wetland. Buildings in this area are subjected to strict governmental regulations. The government sends officials for inspection frequently. If the fish farmers seek to construct new stilt houses for storing aquaculture tools, they must submit applications to the government and comply with strict rules.

 

There are currently about 40 fishponds in Tai Sang Wai, and the depth of these ponds ranges from 2 to 6 metres. Situated along the Deep Bay, these fishponds abound with grey mullet, which accounts for about 5% of the freshwater fish supply in Hong Kong. As early as the 1940s, the aquaculture industry in Hong Kong initiated the gei wai culture. By flushing in the seawater from Deep Bay, which is full of young shrimps and fry, farmers could cultivate marine products in ponds enclosed by bunds along the shore. However, due to water pollution to the Deep Bay, farmers have transformed from gei wai culture to pond culture. The parameter of the fishpond is scattered with cargoes and bamboo scaffoldings for supply storage. In the past, there were even considerable numbers of stilt houses resembling those commonly seen in Tai O. At the fishponds, there are all sorts of aquaculture facilities, including pond aerators, feeding machines, fishnets, wooden frames for storing food, and so on.

 

The fishponds are regularly ploughed to eliminate bacteria accumulated in the water and soil. Generally, the fishponds are drained and dried after the harvest in fall and winter. Then, bulldozers are used to plough and level the ground. During the operation, migratory birds will take the opportunity to forage. Various kinds of birds often come to Tai Sang Wai to forage in different seasons. The pond-heron and the great egret are amongst the most common birds in the area.

 

Apart from aquaculture, fish farmers also make use of the fertile pond mud to plant fruiters to improve the economic benefit of the fishpond. They usually plant jackfruit, wampee, and mulberries. And that is why the steamed bun, a signature snack of the Tai Sang Wai villager, is wrapped in mulberry leaves.