Spoonbill to be released
A black-faced spoonbill is ready to be released back into the wild next week and migrate north for the summer after recovering from injuries suffered when it was trapped on a fish farm, the Council of Agriculture’s Endemic Species Research Institute said yesterday. The endangered bird was found trapped by nets in Greater Tainan on March 25. Local fishermen freed the bird as soon as they found it and notified the Greater Tainan Government and the institute. The institute took possession of the bird, which was tagged in South Korea and numbered “E21,” and treated it immediately. The institute said that after emergency surgery and more than a month of rest and rehabilitation, the bird had recovered well and would be released into the wild at a salt farm in Tainan on Tuesday.
Taipei Main Station busiest
Taipei Main Station had the highest passenger volume among all the metro stations on the Taipei Mass Rapid Transport system last year, registering 113.48 million passengers, according to the latest statistics published by the Taipei City Government. With 10.02 percent of the total volume of passengers, Taipei Main Station was way ahead of Taipei City Hall Station in second place with 3.8 percent, Ximen Station in third place with 3.79 percent and Zhongxiao Xinsheng Station in fourth with 3.3 percent. Total ridership on the system last year was 566.4 million, according to data from the Taipei City Department of Budget, Accounting and Statistics. On average, the daily ridership was 1.55 million, a 12.06 percent increase compared with 2010, the statistics showed.
Bluefin tuna festival opens
The Pingtung County Government will host a concert today to celebrate the beginning of this year’s Bluefin Tuna Tourism Festival. Meanwhile, the first fish of the festival was caught on April 26 and sold for NT$1.36 million (US$46,570) at an auction on Wednesday. The bluefin tuna weighed 224kg and it was caught off the county’s coast in the Bashi Channel by the Donggang-registered Fu Yu Ching No. 2. It was bought by Yumaowu, a supermarket in Greater Taichung, for NT$6,100 per kilogram. It was the first time in the festival’s 12-year history that the first bluefin was bought by a business outside of southern Taiwan. It was also the first time a Donggang-registered boat brought in the first bluefin of the festival. Ryukyu Islands-registered boats have taken that honor at all the previous festivals. In comparison, a bluefin caught earlier this year off the coast of Yilan County sold at auction for NT$900,000, at a price of NT$2,500 per kilogram.
Nobel laureate to visit
Dan Shechtman, winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry last year, is scheduled to visit the nation tomorrow and said he was excited about his trip. Ahead of Shechtman’s trip, Taiwan Representative to Israel Chang Liang-jen (張良任) briefed the Nobel Laureate on the state of relations between Taiwan and Israel and the two countries’ political, trade and economic exchanges in recent years. Shechtman said he had planned to visit in 2004, but was unable to come at that time. He was very excited about the upcoming trip, especially because his wife was highly impressed when she visited the nation for a conference in July 2010. The scientist will be the second Israeli Nobel Prize winner to visit Taiwan this year, following the visit of Ada Yonath, the 2009 winner of the Nobel Prize in chemistry, in March.