Cold front on its way
The Central Weather Bureau announced yesterday that the recent warm spell will come to an end tomorrow. A cold front moving south from China will cause temperatures to drop across Taiwan and bring a high possibility of rain in the north. The lowest temperatures are expected to be felt on Sunday and Monday, when coastal areas in the north could have temperatures as low as 10 degrees Celsius. The country has been experiencing warm weather over the past few days, with daytime temperatures reaching 26 degrees Celsius in the north, 28 degrees Celsius in the central areas and 27 degrees Celsius to 28 degrees Celsius in the south.
Chinese ships apprehended
Ten Chinese fishing vessels were nabbed off Kinmen yesterday in a sweep operation conducted by the Coast Guard Administration and local police. The Chinese fishing vessels, all from Longhai City in Fujian Province, were intercepted in a smuggling and epidemic prevention operation, and 12 other Chinese vessels were chased out of Taiwanese territorial waters. The vessels were apprehended for poaching in Taiwan's waters and 18 crewmen were sent to the coast guard office on Kinmen for questioning, while the vessels were ordered to anchor at the Lotsu fishing port in Hsiaokinmen (小金門) for investigation. Their catch, mostly eel fry, and 23 pieces of fishing gear were confiscated.
■ Fishing disputes
Boat shot in `self-defense'
Police in the Philippines yesterday released a preliminary report on the shots fired at a Taiwanese fishing vessel in its territorial waters, saying that its maritime police had opened fire on the boat in self-defense, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday quoted the Philippine authorities as saying. The Taiwanese boat hit the Philippine boat in defiance at the police's order to stop, the report said. Bataan police said two maritime police officers and four fishermen were dispatched on two small engine-powered rafts to expel the Taiwanese fishing boat, which was allegedly fishing in the Philippines' exclusive economic zone. The police waved a red banner in warning, but after it was hit it fired at the Taiwanese boat. The Filipino police did not board the Taiwanese boat to confiscate its catch, nor did they drain the the boat of its fuel, as the Taiwanese crewmen claimed, the Philippines said. Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Michel Lu (呂慶龍) said yesterday that the Taiwanese authorities need to examine the evidence further and would continue pursuing the case.
Activists slam aquarium
Local and foreign environmental protection groups yesterday protested against an aquarium in the south for what they called the improper use of an endangered animal for profit. The groups, including the Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan (EAST) and an international alliance of environmental groups from the UK, US and Canada, accused the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium in Pingtung of using white whales to perform as a "circus act" under the guise of "education and research." The groups said they will initiate a one-person-one-letter campaign to protest against the aquarium for importing an additional four of the white whales at the end of this month. The whales are to be used for artificial insemination and will be forced to give additional performances during the Lunar New Year holiday.