Thu, Dec 15, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Endangered turtles have returned to Dongsha atoll

Staff Writer, with CNA

The endangered Green Sea Turtle that was thought to have disappeared from an island in the South China Sea controlled by Taiwan has been seen this year laying its eggs on the islet, an official said.

Chang Te-hao (張德浩), director of the Coast Guard Administration’s South Coast Guard Bureau, said the return of the turtles in their breeding season and the revival of coral reefs in the area signaled the success of the nation’s “blue sea ad hoc” conservation program.

Under the program, foreign ships are prevented from operating within restricted zones near the Dongsha and Spratly islands, which helps to protect marine life in the area, Chang said.

“The Green Sea turtles that had disappeared from Dongsha came back in September,” he said, adding that the turtles were spotted laying eggs on the islands.

Since the establishment of the Dongsha Atoll National Park in 2007, the Coast Guard Administration has stepped up its maritime services in the area, imposing a strict ban on fishing boats that attempt to poison or catch fish by electrofishing methods, he said.

The revival of the coral reefs and the reappearance of the turtles indicated a significant improvement in the ecology, Chang said.

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