Bulk Carrier Aground off Kaohsiung Coast

A 51,208 ton bulk carrier carrying coal bound for a power station in Kaohsiung ran aground yesterday as it approached a docking facility. Attempts to move the vessel at the next high tide failed this morning. The Maritime and Port Bureau said that yesterday at 5:20pm, August 14, they received a report that a vessel had run aground while approached the coal unloading facility at the Xingda Power Station. A strong current is said to have hampered the pilot’s ability

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Dolphin’s Tail Hacked Off

East Coast National Scenic Area Administration officers found a dead dolphin on Sanxiantai Reef. The carcass, which had not yet decomposed was missing a tail, and the tail appears to have been cut off with a sharp knife. It is suspected that fishermen cut off the tail after the dolphin became entangled in a fishing net. The carcass has been sent to Taiwan Cetacean Society for further research and confirmation about the cause of death. Source: Taiwan People News. Two

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Rare Omura’s Whale Sighted off Hualian

One of the world’s most mysterious species, the Omura’s Whale (Balaenoptera omurai) was recorded on video by whale watchers off the coast of Hualian on May 20. The video was uploaded to Facebook, allowing a Japanese whale expert to identify the species. It is the first confirmed record of the species in Taiwan waters. Kuroshio Ocean Education foundation spokesperson He Zile (何姿樂) said that adult Omura’s Whales grow up to 10 meters long, so the individual recorded is a juvenile.

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Rare Mega-mouth Shark Caught off Hualien

A fisherman contacted authorities after catching a rare mega mouth shark in waters off the coast of Hualien County on Taiwan’s east coast this morning, May 16. The captain of the fishing boat, Mr Wu, notified the coast guard, as required by law, after bringing up the 5 meter-long, 700kg shark. The shark has already been sold to a seafood restaurant in Ilan County’s Suao township. Apple Daily reported that the restaurant paid NT$80 per kilogram for the shark. Kuroshio

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Matsu’s Blue Tears a sign of Environmental Crisis

[Picture: Lienchiang County Government] Pictures that went viral on the Internet showing the beauty of “blue tears” in the ocean around the Matsu Islands are actually a sign of an environmental crisis, according to sources cited in a report on Liberty Times Network. Between April and September, bioluminescent plankton emit a blue light, resulting in a phenomenon locals on the Matsu Islands call “blue tears.” The plankton, known to science as dinoflagellates, feed on nutrients in the water. While the

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Manta Ray Rehabilitated: What’s Next?

A giant oceanic manta ray (Manta birostris) rescued after being caught as by-catch in a fisherman’s net off the coast of Hualian County in February, has adapted well to its captive environment. Researchers at the Eastern Marine Biology Research Center say that the manta ray’s injuries have healed, and the 150 kilogram animal is consuming 10 to 15 kilograms of Antarctic krill every day. The ray was moved to a pool at the research facility after being caught on February

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Green Island Tainted by Oil Spill

At least 8 kilometers of coastline on Green Island in Taitung County has been contaminated by heavy oil, according to reports verified by coast guard officials stationed on the island. Liberty Times Network reported that reports of the oil spill began around 7:00pm March 10. Taitung Environmental Protection Bureau sent a team to investigate the oil spill. Saturday morning March 11, investigators found that around 10 kilometers, or around one-third of the island’s coastline had been contaminated by heavy oil.

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Another Rare Porpoise Found Dead: Two in Four Days

The carcass of an Indo-Pacific finless porpoise was found washed up on the coast of New Taipei City’s Wanli District, at around 5:00pm on the evening of February 3. It is the second member of the vulnerable species to be found dead in just four days. Eight Indo-Pacific finless porpoises were recorded washed up on the coast of Taiwan in the eighteen years between 1998 and 2016. A juvenile female was found on a beach in Shimen District of New

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Rare Porpoise Washed Up On New Taipei City Beach

The remains of a rarely-seen Indo-Pacific finless porpoise was found washed up on a beach in New Taipei City’s Shimen District yesterday, January 31. Members of Taiwan Cetacean Society, along with officials from New Taipei City Animal Protection and Health Inspection Office, identified the animal as a one year old juvenile female. They estimated it had been dead about 2 days. The body showed signs of injury, but it is unknown if it was injured before it died, or damaged

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Crew Airlifted Off Stricken Freighter Near Kaohsiung

The crew of a Panamanian-registered cargo vessel was airlifted to safety when the ship listed and started to sink 26 miles west of Kaohsiung this morning, January 14, 2017. Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense reported that the National Rescue Command Center received a mayday message at 10:42am this morning. An airforce EC225 helicopter was dispatched to airlift the 13-person Indonesian nationality crew. The ship appears to belong to Chinese shipping company Guandong Tongcheng Shipping.

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Giant Manta Rays Caught and Killed: Captain Identified

The captain of a Taiwan fishing vessel will face a fine after failing to report the capture and deaths of 2 giant manta rays, which are listed as a vulnerable species by International Union for Conservation of Nature. Photos of the bloodied carcases of the manta rays laid on the ground at a fish market in Kaohsiung began to circulate on social media January 1, and were widely reported in Taiwan’s media January 3. Police interviewed the owner of a

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