Eighty previously unknown species of crustaceans and other marine life were discovered off Taiwan's eastern seaboard and in the South China Sea near Taiwan by researchers from local universities and research organizations, with assistance from France's Musee national d'Histoire naturelle and Japanese researchers.
Starting in 2001, with funding from the National Science Council, researchers from the National Taiwan Ocean University, Academia Sinica, National Chung Hsing University, the National Museum of Natural Science and other domestic and foreign institutions plumbed the depths of the Pacific Ocean near Taiwan with the help of a steel cable, nets and other collecting devices.
What they found astonished even seasoned marine biologists.
PHOTOS: COURTESY OFO CHEN TIEN-JEN
"Taiwan is surrounded on all sides by water rich in marine resources," National Taiwan Ocean University professor Chen Tien-jen (
Not anymore. Thanks to sophisticated new devices, the six-year exploration project was able to reach depths of 4,455m, allowing researchers to haul up from the cold, black waters rarely seen or previously unknown species, Chen said.
In all, 603 types of rare shrimp, fish and other crustaceans hitherto unseen in waters off Taiwan were discovered.
Named after Taiwan
Of that figure, 80 species were previously unknown. Five of the new species, including fish, shrimp and crabs, were given official names with the word "Taiwan" in them.
With 71 sub-species, Taiwan boasts the greatest variety of "grenadier," a prehistoric-looking deep-sea fish with razor-sharp teeth, of which there are 350 sub-species worldwide.
Taiwan also boasts the greatest variety of "squat lobsters," with 31 sub-species out of the 218 identified worldwide making their home deep in the waters off the country's east coast, he said.
While most countries shun Taiwan at the political level, its newly discovered marine biodiversity is attracting research organizations in droves, with plans to include the nation in other research projects, Chen said.
"Taiwan's rare biodiversity is something Taiwanese should be proud of and cherish," he said.
BLUE WAVE: The KMT’s Chiang Wan-an defeated the DPP’s Chen Shih-chung and is to become Taipei mayor, while President Tsai Ing-wen stepped down as DPP chairperson after many of the party’s candidates, handpicked by the leadership, performed poorly The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday flipped key mayoral seats in Taipei, Taoyuan and Keelung, and won control of 13 out of 22 cities and counties in the nine-in-one local elections. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) last night resigned as Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson over a poor showing by the party’s candidates, who were handpicked by the DPP leadership rather than chosen through primaries. The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) won its first high-profile race with Hsinchu mayoral candidate Ann Kao (高虹安) defeating Shen Hui-hung (沈慧虹) of the DPP with 45.02 percent of the vote to Shen’s 35.68 percent. Voters were choosing more than
CAUTION: Wearing a mask in crowded places and for people with chronic illnesses or allergies can help prevent COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, the CECC said The mask mandate for outdoor settings is to lifted on Thursday, and the weekly cap on international inbound travelers is to be removed on Dec. 10, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said at its regular news conference yesterday. The center also announced that starting from Friday, children aged five to 11 can receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster, and that rules for visiting hospital patients are to be partially eased from Dec. 10. While wearing a mask will no longer be mandatory outdoors, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Victor Wang (王必勝) reminded the public that it would still be required
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: China might impose a blockade, conduct limited force operations, use an air and missile campaign, or resort to an invasion, the report said The US Department of Defense has identified four possible military courses of action that China could take against Taiwan, but did not offer any guess on when Beijing might be ready to act. In an annual report to the US Congress released on Tuesday titled Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2022, the department gave a broad overview of China’s military capabilities, strategy, ambitions and intentions. The report devoted significant space to developments related to Taiwan, against which it said China had intensified diplomatic, economic, political and military pressure last year. For example, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA)
ANALYSIS: The local elections showed that the KMT is a competitive player, but needs to work at changing its image regarding China, experts said The nine-in-one local election results would bolster the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), but are unlikely to have a major effect on the 2024 presidential election, when cross-strait issues are back in focus, political commentators said. In Saturday’s elections, the KMT won 13 of the 21 cities and counties up for grabs, including four of the country’s six biggest metropolitan areas, where nearly 70 percent of the population lives. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lost three of the seven cities and counties it held, although it gained Penghu County. Its poor results prompted President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to announce her resignation as party