Thu, Mar 02, 2017 - Page 4 News List

Turtle Island reopens for tourists after cleanup work

Staff writer, with CNA

Turtle Island (龜山), an islet off the coast of Yilan County, was yesterday scheduled to reopen to tourists after its annual three-month closure for environmental conservation efforts, the Tourism Bureau said on Tuesday.

Also known as Gueishan Island, the 2.841km2 islet about 10km east of Yilan’s Wushih Harbor (烏石港) is administered by Toucheng Township (頭城), which promotes it as a tourist destination and nature reserve.

It had been closed to tourists since December last year.

In 1977, local residents, mostly fishermen, were relocated to Taiwan proper for the establishment of a military base on the islet. It was officially designated a maritime ecological park and opened to tourists in 2000.

As part of beach cleaning operations carried out by the bureau’s Northeast and Yilan Coast National Scenic Area Administration on Tuesday, 6.5 tonnes of waste — mainly abandoned marine items, such as nets, plastic baskets, empty cans and bottles — were collected, 1 tonne more than a similar campaign conducted last year, the agency said.

The administration called on fishermen and tourists to refrain from leaving trash on the islet to preserve its pristine marine ecology.

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