Friday, September 21, 2007
Summary of Local Media Coverage of the Humpback Dolphin Workshop
What Follows is a brief summary of local Taiwan media coverage of the Second International Workshop on the Taiwan Humpback Dolphin press conference held in Changhua City, Taiwan, on Friday, September 7th.
Taiwan’s Central News Agency put out the following story:
(Translated from Chinese)
Conference Warns of Immanent Threat to Rare Taiwanese Dolphin
“The Second International Workshop on the Conservation and Research Needs of the Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins, Sousa chinensis, in the waters of western Taiwan was held on in Taiwan from 4-7 September 2007. Dolphin experts attending the workshop warn that the Taiwan humpback dolphin faces extinction unless the Taiwanese government acts quickly to protect the species’ habitat. The workshop was hosted by Taiwan’s National Museum of Marine Biology. Attendees included dolphin experts from Canada, Brazil and the United States.
Humpback dolphins were only confirmed by scientists to be residing in the coastal waters off of western Taiwan in 2002. Distinct markings on the Taiwan humpback dolphins distinguish it as a [sub] species distinct from similar dolphins living in estuaries off the coast of China. Researchers estimate that less than one hundred Taiwan humpback dolphins remain and fear that their continued existence is at serious risk. The habitat of the humpback dolphin along Taiwan’s central-west coast is threatened by reduced fresh water flows, fishing nets, direct habitat destruction, and overall deterioration of its environment brought about by noise, water and other pollution. Approximately one-third of the humpback dolphin population has suffered injuries as a result of habitat deterioration.
Experts attending the workshop recommended that development projects that could impact on the habitat of humpback dolphin be made public, that gillnet and other harmful fishing practices be outlawed in the habitat area and that tourist activities there be limited in order to protect the dwindling numbers of this dolphin species.”
Television coverage of the workshop was good with the following TV channels all running stories on the event:
Taiwan Public Television
Taiwan’s largest radio service, Broadcasting Corporation of China (BCC), gave coverage of the workshop in some of its news programs.
Newspaper coverage of the workshop was rather disappointing with only the Liberty Times running the story. Liberty Times is one of the larger mainstream Taiwan dailies.
Although newspaper reports covering the event were disappointing the TV coverage was good and should have raised awareness of the plight of the Taiwan humpback dolphins considerably.
Taiwan Humpback Dolphin Workshop - Press Release
Canadian scientists race to save Taiwan's rare pink dolphins