The government would more strictly monitor the construction of offshore wind farms to protect marine animals, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said yesterday.
The government would use an automatic identification system for ships as well as other technological tools to protect the animals, it said.
The developers of 24 wind farm projects have since last year begun construction on land and offshore after passing the agency’s environmental impact assessment (EIA) reviews.
However, as many of the wind farms off the west coast are near the habitats of Taiwanese humpback dolphins, conservationists have been calling for more efforts to monitor the projects.
The EPA is tasked with monitoring whether the developers comply with the promises they made during their EIA reviews, and it works with other government agencies to improve its monitoring capabilities, given it has no ships, Bureau of Environmental Inspection Deputy Inspector-General John Chiang (姜祖農) told a news conference in Taipei.
For example, the EPA since 2019 has been working with the Ocean Conservation Administration (OCA) to establish marine ecology monitoring standards, he said.
In addition to using uncrewed aerial vehicles to monitor construction, the agency has partnered with the Maritime and Port Bureau to use automatic identification systems to check if the developers dispatch ships as promised, he said.
While the promises made by the developers vary from case to case, they are all required to dispatch observation ships around their construction sites when driving piles into the seabed to prevent vessels from hitting marine animals, Chiang said.
In 2019, the bureau fined developers of Formosa 1 — the nation’s first operational wind farm off Miaoli County — NT$1.5 million (US$52,685 at the current exchange rate) for failing to dispatch observation ships, Chiang said.
Last year, it fined the developers of the Yunneng wind farm off Yunlin County NT$400,000 after their observation ships were found to have left their patrol area earlier than scheduled, he added.
While some ship operators might turn off automatic identification systems to avoid tracking, inspectors can still track their movements through coastal radar systems managed by the Coast Guard Administration, Maritime and Port Bureau sector chief Liu Cheng-shan (劉正善) said.
A marine survey by the OCA found only 64 Taiwanese humpback dolphins in the waters from the coast of New Taipei City’s Tamsui District (淡水) to the coast of Tainan, OCA section chief Ko Ching-lin (柯慶麟) said.
The number is a slight decrease from previous years and the OCA is working with the EPA to draft a plan to protect the species, he said.
A debt dispute between a restaurant owner and a criminal ring might be behind a bizarre cockroach attack at the Taipei eatery on Monday night while it was hosting a police gathering, Taipei Police Commissioner Chen Jia-chang (陳嘉昌) said yesterday. Preliminary findings of a police investigation into the case at the G House Taipei suggest that the unusual incident might have been directed at the restaurant’s owner, who allegedly owes money to the Bamboo Union, Chen said. The suspects were Bamboo Union members and there was no evidence indicating that the cockroaches were targeted at the police officers at the restaurant, he
The Taipei City Government yesterday officially launched the “YouBike 2.0” system, an upgraded version of the bicycle rental service, saying that it aims to expand the service to more than 1,200 stations throughout the city. The system yesterday activated 160 new stations, in addition to 103 stations in the Gongguan (公館) shopping area near the National Taiwan University campus. A trial run of YouBike2.0 was launched there in January last year. The Taipei Department of Transportation said that bicycles of the upgraded system feature solar panels and card censors, which allow users to rent them by swiping their EasyCard or scanning a QR
QUARANTINE BLUNDER: The government should be responsible for a cluster infection at a hotel, as the cases have caused panic, DPP Legislator Chen Ming-wen said The Ministry of Transportation and Communications should make it mandatory for pilots and flight attendants, as well as their family members, to be vaccinated in view of a cluster of COVID-19 cases at the Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport hotel, lawmakers said at a meeting of the legislature’s Transportation Committee yesterday. The cluster infection at the hotel had led to 28 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday, including hotel workers, as well as China Airlines flight and cabin crew, and their family members. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday tightened quarantine requirements for pilots and flight attendants, who must quarantine
‘COLD ATTITUDE’: The man claimed that his wife of nearly 50 years had not cooked or done any laundry for 40 years and that she refused to bathe A court last month rejected a man’s application for a divorce over lack of evidence that his wife “would rather feed stray dogs” than her husband. The 90-year-old man, surnamed Chao (趙), filed for divorce from his wife of nearly 50 years, surnamed Tung (董), saying that she had not cooked or done any laundry for 40 years. “Every morning my wife goes to Gaoping Bridge to feed stray dogs and does not come home until late,” Chao said. “I am 90 and I need to be taken care of,” he said, complaining of his wife’s “cold attitude” toward him. Chao also complained in