Taiwan sets up dolphin sanctuary

2014-04-22 12:29

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Taiwan is setting up its first marine wildlife sanctuary, in a bid to protect its dwindling population of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins, officials said on Monday.

Local conservation groups say the dolphin numbers have halved to around 60 in the past decade, due to pollution, industrial development, and destruction of habitat.

"Indo-Pacific dolphin population is a key index to measure the health of the maritime environment", said Tsai Chia-yang, the head of the Chuanghua environmental protection union.

The council of agriculture confirmed it will establish a vast 76 300Ha sanctuary off the west coast of the country.

"We're happy to announce the setting up of the sanctuary before this year's Earth Day", Kuan Li-hao, an official of the forestry bureau, referring to the annual United Nations event launched in 1970 and celebrated on 22 April.

Normal fishing in the area will be unaffected, as the government said a total ban would not be possible as sanctuary's success depended on the co-operation of local fishermen.

But the government has tightened guidelines for those operating in the region.

From now on, any development projects in the area will require government approval, council officials said.

Under the new measures, there will be tough punishments for illegal fishing of the endangered species.

Poachers of the humpback dolphin could face up to two years in jail and fines of $16 530. Dredge fishing is also banned.

Anyone caught seriously damaging the habitat could face five years in prison.

"Illegal fishing has seriously ruined the coastal ecological environment, threatening the endangered dolphins", whose main diet consists of mullet and other fish, Kuan said.

The Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin can also be found along the coast of Africa and in the waters stretching from India to Australia.

In 2011, President Ma Ying-jeou decided to put an end to a controversial plan to build a $20bn refinery and more than 20 related petrochemical plants in western Taiwan, in reaction to a series of protests for the endangered dolphin species.

He said there was a need to balance economic development with environmental protection.
Read more on:    un  |  taiwan  |  marine life  |  conservation  |  environment

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.