Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Swimming Channel for the White Dolphins? A Sudden Burst of a Marvelous Idea from Ma Government

A translation of a recent article that appeared in the China times. The translation is courtesy of Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association's translation department [material in brackets added by translator for clarification].

China Times, 7 November 2009

Swimming Channel for the White Dolphins? A Sudden Burst of a Marvelous Idea from Ma Government

Rong Hua-yi/Reporting in Taipei

Premier Wu Dun-yi acknowledged that the effluents from the Central Science Park Fourth Stage would go “directly into the ocean”, however, conservation groups and Democratic Progressive Party legislator Tien Chiu-Chin yesterday raised doubts about this, as it would mean a serious breach of the near extinct “Chinese White Dolphin’s” habitat. In order to address this the Ma government has come up with the “marvelous idea”: consideration of a “construction a special water lane” and training the dolphins to swim away from the pollution. Problem is that in the assessment of the local experts “there will be a very high degree of difficulty”.

Conservationists yesterday made a plea for the Chinese White dolphin [aka Taiwan pink dolphin] yesterday, including the chairman of the Eastern Taiwan Strait Sousa Technical Advisory Working Group, Peter S. Ross, and the chairman of the IUCN Species Survival Commission’s Cetacean Specialist Group, Randall R. Reeves, Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association chair Robin Winkler, and John Tsai chair of the Changhua Environmental Protection Union.

The Chinese White dolphin, also called the “Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin”, and known as “Matsu’s Fishor baiwua” in Taiwanese [?], is classified by the Forestry Bureau as being in the highest category of protection, and inhabits shallow seas near to the shore, there are currently about 90 animals remaining; they are active in the coastal waters from Miaoli to Chiayi, they are classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as Critically Endangered, facing life threatening factors of polluted water, lack of fresh water, land reclamation, fishing nets, marine noise, lack of food, starvation.

The Forestry Bureau of the Council of Agriculture Specialist LIU, Cyong-lian stated that the planned destination for the Central Science Park’s pollution discharge was in the area where the Chinese dolphins are active, and that an interagency committee under the Executive Yuan had met with Kuokuang Petrochemical, local and foreign experts to discuss how to mitigate the impact on the dolphins, with one possible solution having been offered being to “build a dedicated channel for the dolphins to swim through”.

Assistant Professor Otto Li of the Institute of Marine Affairs at National Sun Yat Sen University pointed out that getting the dolphins to “obediently use the swimming channel”, while there are examples in other contries, but they used natural fjords whereas Taiwan lacks such geological formations and would require it to be entirely constructed by humans with a very high cost and no precedent. Furthermore, the dolphins won’t necessarily be so obedient and experts on animal behavior think this is impossible.

中國時報  2009.11.07



 行政院長吳敦義承諾,中科四期汙水將「直接排入海中」,但保育團體與民進黨立委田秋堇 昨日質疑,此舉會嚴重破壞瀕臨滅絕的「中華白海豚」棲息海域。為解決此問題,馬政府曾一度「突發奇想」,考慮「築一條專用水道」,訓練海豚游水道以避開汙 水,只是國內外專家評估「難度很高」。

 東台灣海峽白海豚技術顧問工作小組主席羅斯(Peter S. Ross)、國際自然保育聯盟鯨類專家小組主席瑞維斯(Randall R. Reeves)、台灣蠻野心足生態協會理事長文魯彬、彰化環境保護聯盟理事長蔡嘉陽等保育人士,昨日為中華白海豚請命。

 中華白海豚又稱「印太洋駝海豚」,俗稱「媽祖魚、白魚吳」,林務局列為一級保育動物,以近岸、淺海為棲息海域,目前僅剩約九十隻,活動於 苗栗到嘉義沿海,生育率低,被國際自然保育聯盟(IUCN)列為「瀕臨滅絕」生物,面臨汙水排放、缺乏淡水、填海造陸、漁具誤纏、水中噪音和糧食不足、飢 餓等生存危機。






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