On Wednesday Taiwan Premier Wu Den-yih subjected all who would listen to further verbiage on the wondrous Kuokuang Petrochemical Park Development and what the future holds for the Taiwan pink dolphins. It was clear that Wu was trying to do a little damage control after his previous idiotic remarks on the dolphins and the negative press they created. According to the Taipei Times, Wu said "it is an interesting issue and deserves careful study" and "the matter deserved more discussion."
The Taipei Times further said that Wu went on to explain that his previous remarks that dolphins should be able to “make a turn” to avoid a planned harbor for the shipment of petrochemical products were derived from Chou Lien-siang, a professor at the Institute of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at National Taiwan University, and Chen Bao-lang, chairman of Kuokuang Petrochemical Technology Company Ltd (KTPC), the company behind the plant proposal. Wu went on to tell reporters that "they are both dolphin experts. You can go ahead and ask them."
Just what business executive Chen Bao-lang's dolphin expertise are seem unclear. Wu's second expert is Prof. Chou Lien-siang of the Institute of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at National Taiwan University. Chou unfortunately is doing her research for Chen's Kuokuang Petrochemical Technology Company but despite this, her research, which has not been subject to peer review and published in a respectable journal, seems to be what Wu and the Taiwan Government is basing all their decisions on. One can't help but notice that Chou's non peer reviewed research seems to contradict the research of other experts whose research has been peer reviewed and published in respectable international journals.
The Eastern Taiwan Strait Sousa Technical Advisory Working Group (ETSSTAWG), a team of internationally respected cetacean scientists established to offer advice on the critically endangered Taiwan pink dolphins is there for Wu to consult. I guess Wu doesn't want to listen to what these credible experts have to say because I doubt they would paint quite the same rosy picture as that of what Wu, Chou and Chen are painting for the future of the Taiwan pink dolphins.
See yesterday's Taipei Times article Premier backtracks amid criticism of dolphin claims.
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