Environmental groups yesterday held a protest in front of the Executive Yuan in Taipei, urging the Cabinet to pass a draft bill on ocean conservation by the end of this legislative term.
“Taiwan is surrounded by the sea and the Pacific Ocean, and it is urgent to pass key bills to protect marine resources and ensure sustainable development,” said Kuo Chia-wen (郭佳雯), board member of the Matsu Fish Conservation Union, Taiwan.
“Key regulations covering the ocean and its resources are laid out in several draft bills, offering different levels of protection and varying control standards, but they still cannot ensure full conservation and protection of marine ecosystems,” she said.
Photo: Chen Chia-yi, Taipei Times
Only the draft Marine Industry Development bill (海洋產業發展條例) has passed a third reading in the legislature, while the most important one — a bill on ocean conservation — is still awaiting a proposal from the Executive Yuan, she added.
“Taiwan’s coral reefs in coastal areas are under severe threat due to seawater warming. With the world’s major oceans in July setting record-high temperatures, many marine species are facing the danger of extinction,” New Power Party Legislator Chiu Hsien-chih (邱顯智) said at the protest.
“The waters surrounding Taiwan and our coasts are under unremitting assault due to worsening pollution, degradation due to the construction of offshore wind turbines, overfishing leading to depletion of fish stocks and Chinese vessels engaged in illegal sand dredging,” he said.
“We lack funding and personnel to take up marine conservation work, which is not covered by legal measures that can mete out punishments or have a deterrent effect,” he said, adding that his party is ready with its version of a draft bill.
“We are now into the final few months of this legislative term, but the Executive Yuan has yet to finalize its draft bill. In failing to do so, lawmakers cannot put its deliberation on the agenda,” he said.
Taiwan Environmental Information Association’s project manager Kuan Chun-an (官淳安) said that an ocean conservation bill could help replenish fish and marine resources, so that the fishing industry would not have to contend with dwindling catch or catching smaller fish.
Hopefully, such legislation can fully protect all marine ecosystems, he said.
SAFETY IN REGULATION: The proposal states that Chiayi should assess whether it is viable to establish such a district and draft rules to protect clients and sex workers The Chiayi City Council passed a motion yesterday to assess the viability of establishing a regulated red-light district. The council yesterday held its last session of the year, at which its fiscal 2024 budget was approved, along with 61 other proposals. The proposal to assess the viability of establishing a red-light district was put forward by independent Chiayi City Councilor Molly Yen (顏色不分藍綠支持性專區顏色田慎節). The proposal cited 2011 amendments to the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法), which stipulate that city and county governments can pass autonomous regulations on the sex trade to manage the industry and guarantee industry workers’ rights. A ban on the
Measures have been taken to minimize damage from Chinese espionage, the Ministry of National Defense said on Monday, in response to an alleged plan to deliver a Chinook helicopter to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. The Chinese-language CTWANT magazine earlier in the day reported that a lieutenant colonel surnamed Hsieh (謝) was approached by Chinese officers with an offer to evacuate his family to Thailand in the event of a cross-strait conflict. In exchange, Hsieh was asked to fly a CH-47F Chinook helicopter to a Chinese aircraft carrier in the Taiwan Strait, the magazine said. Hsieh initially declined, but accepted after he was
STABILITY AND CHANGE: Flagging in recent polls, Ko this week pledged to maintain President Tsai’s foreign policy, with an emphasis on improving China relations Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday reiterated that he is “deep-green at heart” in response to accusations that he is pivoting his campaign to align closer with the ideology of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the face of flagging polls. Ko made the remark at an agricultural policy conference in Taipei, repeating his comments from an interview with CTS News a day earlier. Ko told the CTS host that he would continue to pursue President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) national defense and foreign policy in general, but with an emphasis on establishing a rapport with
CHINA illness surge: Of 88 travelers from China, Hong Kong and Macau with respiratory symptoms who were encouraged to get tested upon arrival, 70.6% had the flu Two hundred and sixty people with COVID-19 were hospitalized and 31 deaths related to the virus were reported last week — the highest numbers in four weeks, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday, adding that cases are expected to peak next month. CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said that of the 260 people hospitalized last week with moderate to severe COVID-19, 98 percent had not received the Omicron XBB.1.5-adapted COVID-19 vaccine. Among the people hospitalized this year, 78 percent were aged 65 or older, while most of the those who were hospitalized or died have or had