Fri, Nov 03, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take: Council to track eels

STAFF WRITER WITH CNA

With eels becoming rarer and eel fry more difficult to collect, the Council of Agriculture has launched a project to implant tracking chips in eels to facilitate the collection of fry, officials at the council's Fisheries Research Institute said yesterday. According to the institute, the eel population has declined sharply owing to climate change, destruction of habitat and over-exploitation, hence the urgent need for a project to track eel groups and implement protective measures. Saying that Taiwan's eel industry depends heavily on eel fry collected from their natural habitat, the officials added that protecting eel groups and their habitats was vital to a sustainable eel business. After a long period of study and discussion between the government and academics, the officials said, the institute decided this year to make two modifications to the conventional fry-raising procedure: releasing adult eels into rivers instead of the sea or estuaries, and implanting tracking chips in the eels to gain a better understanding of their movements.

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