Thursday, August 26, 2010

FPG land reclamation in pink dolphin habitat update

Since 2007 we've had periodic updates on a land reclamation project in known pink dolphin habitat at the Formosa Plastics Group (FPG) plant at Mailiao, Yunlin County on the west-central coast. What follows are several recent photos from the reclamation site where trees are to be planted in a tree-planting for carbon gimmick. Destroying the marine habitat of critically endangered dolphins to plant trees on reclaimed land? Well, FPG was the winner of the infamous Black Planet Award for its shocking environmental track record. Last month two fires at the plant outraged local residents and caused horrendous toxic clouds that contaminated fields and fish farms.

Photo A (2008-08-08) shows a comparison of two photos taken of the same area. The top photo shows a dolphin in the area before reclamation work started in the autumn of 2007. The photo was taken in mid summer 2007. The lower photo shows the same area in August 2008. The area where the dolphin was is within the area between the two sea-walls. The approximate spot where the dolphin was is indicated with an orange arrowhead. FPG originally denied the existence of the pink dolphins in the waters around the plant but had to acknowledge their existence when researchers collected years of data and photographic evidence. Click to watch a film clip of pink dolphins swimming in the waters in the area where this reclamation project is taking place. The footage was filmed in the summer of 2007 shortly before work on the southern sea wall began.

Photo B (2009-03-05) shows the view from the shore looking out to where the dolphin in Photo A was. The area is now enclosed within the sea walls but still contains water.

Photo C (2010-07-16) is looking across the same area as in Photos A & B but from the base of the southern sea wall. The area is now being filled with sand and rocks.

Photo D (2010-07-16) is looking from the base of the southern sea wall towards the northern sea wall along the approximate former shoreline. The dolphin in Photo A was about midway between the two sea walls and just offshore.

Photo E (2010-07-16) is the view along the southern sea wall looking towards the tower which isn't visible now from this point.

Photo F (2010-07-16) shows the southern sea wall viewed from the pier. The tower is just visible to the left of the end of the wall. The former dolphin observation point used by researchers up until 2008 was just to the left of the trees.

Photo G (2010-07-16) shows sand being used for filling the reclamation area. In other reclamation projects fly ash and other such materials have been known to be mixed in with soil and sand. This raises concerns as to what exactly is being used as filler and is it free from toxins that could contaminate surrounding waters.

Photo H (2010-07-16) the end of the southern sea wall. The tower is clearly visible as are several ships. A flag marker for a fishing net is also clearly visible.

Photo I (2010-07-16) shows nets, fish traps and oyster beds in the channel south of the reclamation project. These pose a hazard to the dolphins. In September 2009 dolphin TW-03 drowned as a result of entanglement in fishing gear.

Photo J (2010-07-16) shows the view of another reclaimed area across the channel.

Photo K (2010-07-16) shows the view of another reclaimed area across the channel.

Photo L (2010-07-16) shows the view of part of the FPG plant from the pier.

Photo M shows a pink dolphin with the Formosa Plastics plant at Mailiao clearly visible in the background. The photo was taken just a few hours before the second fire in July at the FPG plant: Photo courtesy and copyright of FormosaCetus Research & Conservation Group.

Earlier reports:

Mailiao Reclamation Site - The Green Area ? (2007-09-30)

Pictures from Mailiao (2008-09-09)

Photos from Mailiao: more dolphin habitat gone ! (2009-03-06)

Dolphins in the waters around FPG and Dacheng (2010-08-31)

No comments: