Environmentalists raised concerns that coral reefs near islands in southern Penghu County are at risk due to warming ocean waters and the tourism industry.
Near-shore waters off Penghu’s southern islands have been much warmer this year, which has caused coral bleaching, Academia Sinica Biodiversity Research Center fellow Chaolun Allen Chen (陳昭倫) said on Sunday last week.
On Dongyuping (東嶼坪) — one of the islands that comprise the South Penghu Marine National Park — corals are covered with sand, while other reefs have been damaged by tourism, he said.
Photo courtesy of a reader
Coral bleaching — which has worsened this year due to fewer typhoons reducing the water temperature — has been detected near Dongjiyu (東吉嶼), Dongyu-pingyu (東嶼坪嶼) and Cimei (七美嶼) islets, he said.
Marine biologist Chen Chin-chuan (陳盡川) said that during a dive close to the marine park’s Siji Islet (西吉嶼), he saw that coral bleaching had spread there, too.
However, coral damaged by natural phenomena — such as a typhoon or heavy rainfall — can potentially recover, he said.
Sand that had been piled up near the port on Dongyupingyu for a public project was swept up by a storm and deposited on corals along the islet’s coast, covering them with a 20cm layer and likely killing them, Chen said.
Boats have been anchoring above corals so that tourists can easily find them while diving, he said, adding that this would harm the reefs.
The marine park headquarters has installed moorings throughout the park that allow boats to anchor near the reefs without damaging the corals, the park said.
Boat operators who engage in activities that could damage the corals would face fines of NT$3,000 per incident, in addition to the cost for coral reef recovery measures.
Phase 2 clinical trial results of the Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp’s COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday were published on the Web site of The Lancet: Respiratory Medicine, in an early preview before publication. The study paves the way for other nations to issue emergency use authorizations or produce the Medigen vaccine, given The Lancet’s credibility as a highly respected medical journal with a rigorous peer-review process, Medigen’s international affairs director Lien Chia-en (連加恩) said. Lien said that the study is important as it proposes methods for converting international units for efficacy comparisons. The methods have been used for correlating the efficacy of hepatitis B
LIABILITIES MULLED: New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi said Taipei would find out if the firm was legally registered, the guide was licensed and the weather was assessed The assets of Tian Da Local Nature Co are to be frozen after at least four people died after falling into the Beishi River (北勢溪) on an outing the company had organized on Saturday, the Taipei City Government said yesterday. Six people — two adults and four children — were washed away by a flash flood on the river in New Taipei City’s Hubaotan (虎豹潭) area. They were participating in a Nature Joy Camp outdoor activity with a group of 16 adults and 15 children led by a guide surnamed Su (蘇). As of 4:30pm yesterday, four of the missing had been
THREATS: Dismissing Beijing’s assertion that its military exercises only target Taiwanese separatists, Chiu Kuo-cheng said war has no regard for political affiliation In case Taiwan is attacked, the military will defend the nation and not stand by like “plastic toys,” Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said yesterday at a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee. Chiu was responding to Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) asking him to clarify his remark last week that “the military holds to the principle that we will not fire the first shot.” Wang asked Chiu whether he meant what he said literally or that Taiwan would not start a war. “The Republic of China will not start a war,” Chiu
Taiwanese worked more hours than people in all but three other countries in the world last year, Ministry of Labor data showed. Singapore placed first in average hours worked among the 40 economies surveyed, with an average of 2,288 hours per worker last year, the data showed. The city-state was followed by Colombia with 2,172 hours — based on 2019 data — and Mexico with 2,124 hours, it showed. Taiwan came in fourth, with 2,021 hours, it showed. South Korean workers clocked the third-most hours in Asia, with 1,908 hours, followed by Japan with 1,598 hours, it showed. However, compared with 2019, the survey found