Mon, Jan 02, 2012 - Page 14 News List

Rapid decrease in coral reef species spells ecological crisis
珊瑚礁指標魚種遽減 生態危機警訊

Coral reefs located 35 degrees north of the equator in the ocean near Wakayama Prefecture in Japan.

Photo courtesy of Academia Sinica’s Biodiversity Research Center
照片: 中研院生物多樣性中心提供

The Taiwan Environmental Information Agency’s (TEIA) 2011 report on Taiwan’s coral reefs released last Monday showed that the coral reefs at Bitoujiao in New Taipei City’s Ruifang District have a mean cover of 14 percent and that they are in the worst condition. The report says that although most coral reefs in Taiwan are in good condition, indicator fish species are still quite sparse. Thus, they have called on the government to make the area a protected ocean area as soon as possible in order to save the ocean’s ecological environment.

TEIA Secretary General Chen Jui-pin said that in 2003 the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) urged all nations to designate 12 percent of their ocean territory as protected areas, and that they should be category I areas according to the organization’s Protected Area Management Categories System. However, only six percent of Taiwan’s oceanic territory is currently designated as protected areas, and the only area that qualifies as a category I area according to IUCN standards is the Dongsha Atoll National Park and Ching Bay in the Penghu Islands where fishing is banned.

Chen also said that as of 2009, when they began conducting examinations of coral reefs in Taiwan, the only area where larger commercial fish species and invertebrates have been easily observed is at Yehliu Geopark in New Taipei City, but the park is only designated a protected area as a geological park. As efficient as it is already, if it could be designated as a category I protected area according to the IUCN, it would increase the diversity among species there and help the rate of growth and breeding in the area, which would also indirectly benefit fishermen.



1. urge v.

籲請 (yu4 qing3)

例: Activists are urging the government to abolish the death penalty.


2. diversity n.

多樣性 (duo1 yang4 xing4)

例: The professor was shocked to find such a high amount of diversity in the ecosystem.


3. indirectly adv.

間接地 (jian4 jie1 de5)

例: Although you didn’t mean to, what you did actually indirectly helped me.






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