Sun, Nov 23, 2008 - Page 2 News List

Penghu provides marine life boost

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

The Penghu County Government has been trying to restore marine life in the waters around Penghu to help alleviate the plight of local fishermen who suffered a heavy blow when a cold spell killed thousands of tonnes of fish early this year, the head of the county government said on Friday.

Penghu County Commissioner Wang Chien-fa (王乾發) told members of the County Council that officials of the local government’s Agriculture and Fisheries Bureau have released various kinds of fry, cultivated in a marine life restoration program, into the seas around Penghu over the past nine months.

Wang said the young fish included 170,000 Rhabdosargus sarba, 35,000 Red porgies, 12,000 Lethrinus nebulosus, 125,000 kuruma shrimp fry, 42,400 ghost crabs, 407,100 abalone fry, and 70,000 Tectus pyramis — one of the most heavily exploited marine gastropods in the Penghu area.

Penghu’s fishery industry suffered its heaviest losses in 30 years in February when an abnormally cold spell lasting more than two weeks killed some 3,000 tonnes of farmed and wild fish.

Forty-seven fish farmers in Penghu lost more than 80 percent, or 1,660 tonnes, of their fish because of the cold temperatures, with the losses valued at NT$220 million (US$6.5 million).

Noting that the county council has given subsidies to fish farmers in compensation for their losses, Wei Chang-yuan (魏長源), a member of the council, said the county government should do the same for fishermen who have been unable to fish because of the ecological disaster.

But Wang said the county government could not compensate the local fishermen for losses suffered as a result of the death of wild fish, as those losses could not be accurately determined.

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