Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The COA's reply to our letter

This is the reply we have received from Taiwan's Council Of Agriculture in response to our letter of concern over the plight of the eastern Taiwan Strait population of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins. We'll leave it to you to decide if they have addressed the concerns outlined in our letter of concern.

Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin Sousa chinensis

Dear ,

Thank you for your concern about Indo-Pacific hump
back dolphin.

Listed below are examples of activities or measures taken in Taiwan to protect cetacean for your reference. These measures include research projects,
rescue and care projects, ecological studies, public awareness campaigns and other projects.

Regarding cetacean-related regulations:

.On July 16, 1981, the Ministry of Economic Affairs announced a ban on whaling and no longer issue relevant license.
.The Wildlife Conservation Act was promulgated in
1989 and 23 species of cetacean were listed as endangered species.
.In 1995, all cetacean species were listed as protected species according to the Wildlife Conservation Act of Taiwan.
.Article 16 of the WCA stipulates that protected wildlife shall not be disturbed, abused, hunted, killed, traded, exhibited, displayed, owned, imported, exported, raised or bred, unless under special circumstances recognized in the WCA.

Several universities are commissioned by the COA to carry out cetacean-related projects. From 1991 to 2007, the COA supported over 80 cetacean-related
projects such as population survey, genetic study, rescue and care projects, ecotourism, conservation education, etc. In 2007, Lienchiang County Government sponsors a finless porpoise (Neophocaena phocaenoides) population survey project in Matsu area. The Fishery Agency of COA supports an Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin(Sousa chnensis) population distribution survey and monitoring project.

To encourage international experience exchanges, government agencies provide funding to scholars/experts to attend international conferences. In addition, the government agencies also commission or sponsor local organizations to hold international cetacean conservation symposiums in Taiwan. Since 1995, government agencies such as COA, Forestry Bureau, Fisheries Agency, National Science Council, local governments, and public museums have sponsored more than 50 cetacean conservation workshops/symposiums. An international cetacean conservation symposium will be scheduled in October 2007.

To enhance public awareness on cetacean issues, government agencies support NGOs to carry out cetacean conservation promoting activities, tour lectures, conservation workshops, training workshops, photo exhibitions, and other activities. Both public
and private sectors have published books, posters, leaflets, CDs, and other materials to advocate cetacean conservation. Examples are:

.In 1996, 10,000 leaflets and 2,000 posters featuring dolphin and whale conservation were produced.
.In July 1997, a whale poster titled "Song from the Deep: Echoing Through My Soul" and a set of Taiwan Nature Conservation Stamp was published. The stamps featured conservation of eight species of whales and one species of dolphin.
.On academic front, over 47 scientific papers and cetacean conservation articles were published between 1996 and 2004.
.Between 1998 and 2004, the Taiwan Cetacean Society organized over 300 activities or workshops promoting cetacean conservation.
.2007 was announced as "Year of the Dolphin." NGOs were commissioned to organize a series of activities.

Rescue and care of whale and dolphin related matters:

.In 1994, 10,000 copies of whale and dolphin rescue manual and CD were produced.
.From 1990 to 2006, there were 730 whale and dolphin rescue cases.
.To date, more than 18 whale and dolphin rescue and care training workshops were organized with over 2,000 participants.
.In 2006, a database of whale and dolphin rescue cases was established.
.In 2007, a specimen collection, cetacean information and tissue sample exchange network will be established.

Thank you again for your concern about dolphin conservation in Taiwan.

Sincerely yours,

Council of Agriculture

Also see:
Time to send another letter-Our Letter of Response to the Council of Agriculture’s Letter

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