Sun, Sep 09, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan mulls national marine park plans

Staff Writer, with CNA

The government is mulling the establishment of a national marine park on the “three northern islets” — Pengjia Islet (彭佳嶼), Mianhua Islet (棉花嶼) and Huaping Islet (花瓶嶼) — an official from the national park administrative office said yesterday.

The idea came after President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) made his first-ever visit on Friday to Pengjia Islet, in the East China Sea amid mounting tensions over the island chain which is claimed by Taiwan, China and Japan.

Marine National Park Director Yang Mo-lin (楊模麟) said the three northern islets, which cover an approximate area of 1.29km2, are rich in marine resources and coral reefs.

However, Yang added that the proposal is pending approval from an initial feasibility study being undertaken by government authorities.

Besides the national park, Yang provided an update on the progress of another national park plan involving four islets in southern Taiwan’s Penghu archipelago.

Yang said the four southern islets of Penghu, whose surrounding waters house many coral reefs, were built up from basalt eruptions on the sea floor between 10 million and 14 million years ago.

The Executive Yuan has approved an initial feasibility study on the proposal. If the plan to turn the four islets of Penghu into a national marine park is passed by the Executive Yuan, it would become the ninth national park in Taiwan, Yang said.

The country currently has eight national parks: Kenting, Yushan, Yangmingshan, Taroko, Sheipa, Kinmen, Taijiang and Dongsha Atoll in the South China Sea.

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