Tue, Mar 13, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Shrinking fish restore ban for Fangjiao River

By Lin Hsin-han  /  Staff reporter

The Fangjiao River in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District is pictured on Saturday last week.

Photo: Lin Hsin-han, Taipei Times

The New Taipei City Government on Wednesday reinstated a fishing ban for the Fangjiao River (枋腳溪) in the city’s Gongliao District (貢寮), after the river’s young fish were found to be shorter than before.

The Agriculture Department had lifted a fishing ban in January 2014, after it determined that the river could sustain a rich ecosystem with a clean and stable amount of flowing water.

Before the ban was lifted, the river’s Taiwanese shovel-jaw carp could grow to more than 20cm, while freshwater minnows typically reached 10cm, the department said.

However, the river’s fry — fish capable of feeding themselves — are shorter than before, possibly due to overfishing or environmental change, it said.

To restore the aquatic ecosystem, the department issued a new fishing ban in the river’s basin, including the Neiliao River (內寮溪) and Chihpiliao River (赤皮寮溪) branches, until the end of next year.

People who catch marine animals or collect plants in the rivers by whatever means would face a fine of between NT$30,000 and NT$150,000 for breaching the Fisheries Act (漁業法), the department said.

There are 56 rivers across the municipality where fishing activities are banned for fish protection, the department said, adding that the actual time frame for lifting or easing the ban depends on ecological restoration.

Protecting the natural ecology is an ongoing task, department Director-General Lee Wen (李玟) said, adding that people who report illegal fishing activities to the agency with valid footage would be rewarded NT$2,000 per case.

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