Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hushan Dam update

Recent typhoon damage to the Hushan area:- photo courtesy of C.C.Chen

The Hushan Dam project has long been seen as a threat to the humpback dolphins. Once complete, the dam will further reduce the flow of fresh water into the Jhoushui River Estuary degrading valuable dolphin habitat.

The Stop Hushan Dam Blog has posted photos of the construction work in the Hushan area and the damage caused during recent typhoons.

Additionally, there is an update on the citizen's suit against the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) over the construction of the dam.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Action needed to preserve rare dolphin, scientist says

Dr. Peter Ross

Dr. Peter Ross, chair of the Eastern Taiwan Strait Sousa Technical Advisory Working Group (ETSSTAWG) is currently in Taiwan attending Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Roundtable Meeting on the Involvement of Business/Private Sector in Sustainability of the Marine Environment. Ross urged the Taiwanese authorities to urgently list the dolphins' habitat as a preservation zone and to prohibit any kind of development in the zone. Failure to act now would in all likelihood result in the rapid extinction of this unique population of dolphins.

Also see: Action needed to preserve rare dolphin, scientist says

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Nets and Dolphins

Humpback Dolphin with a rope around it: Photo courtesy and copyright FormosaCetus Research & Conservation Group

In our September 9 post, titled Pictures from Mailiao, we showed a photo of nets and then a fishing boat in the close inshore waters off Mailiao. Nets do pose a major threat to these dolphins as shown in this post's photos !

We've received the following photos from FormosaCetus Research & Conservation Group of a humpback dolphin with a rope around it taken on September 7th just west of Mailiao Port's long pier. The humpback dolphin was swimming around and feeding near gillnets [as shown in the photos - the red and black flags or "high flyers" as they are called, mark the ends of a gillnet. The rope looks as if it is likely the leadline of a gillnet.] The rope seems to be digging into the skin a bit and maybe a fairly recent entanglement. If this dolphin can't lose the rope, it definitely will have an impact on it's life. The dolphin has been identified as TW-36.

Humpback Dolphin with a rope around it. The red and black flags or "high flyers" as they are called, mark the ends of a gillnet. The rope looks as if it is likely the leadline of a gillnet: Photos courtesy and copyright FormosaCetus Research & Conservation Group

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Why are we building dams for new power plants ?

The world's dirtiest ! Wuchi Power Plant through the haze (Taichung).

Read the article titled, Emissions policy doesn't add up from today's Taipei Times and then ask yourself the question, Why are we building dams for new power plants ?

Destroying valuable natural areas like Hushan, part of an internationally recognised important bird area (IBA), so new dams can supply huge quantities of water to new and upgraded power plants, and the new heavy industry that those power plants are supplying power to, and in the process increase emissions by up to 40% and at the same time wreck large areas of coastal habitat through reclamation projects and pollution which will likely result in the extinction of the critically endangered population of Taiwan humpback dolphin when we are trying to reduce emission levels because of the very real threat of global warming just seems insane. Wow! What a mouthful. Well, you get the point. Read the article, ask the question, and if you figure out the logic in this, please let us know.

Also see:
Planting trees a PR ploy

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Pictures from Mailiao

Developers have denied that Taiwan humpback dolphins inhabit the waters around the Formosa Plastics Group in Mailiao. Evidence clearly shows that these critically endangered dolphins do. Despite official IUCN listing as a critically endangered population and its status as a protected species under Taiwan law, development within what little remains of the humpback dolphins' habitat continues unchecked. The following are recent photographs of reclamation work at Mailiao. This is the area where the video footage was shot and where the photo on the cover of the Second Workshop Report was taken.

Reclamation work extending out towards the coastguard tower clearly visible in the video.

Fishing just off the reclamation area.

An endless stream of trucks dump boulders into the water.

Reclamation work right where the dolphin photo was taken

Reclamation work going on at another site across the river mouth clearly visible from the FPG site.

Also see:

Mailiao Reclamation Site - The Green Area ?

Photos from Mailiao: more dolphin habitat gone !

FPG land reclamation in pink dolphin habitat update