Council of Agriculture successfully develops non-toxic weapon against fall army worm

Researchers at the Council of Agriculture’s Taiwan Agricultural Chemicals and Toxic Substances Research Institute (TACTRI) have developed trap for fall army worm which they hope to have on the market by June next year. Considered a serious global pest by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, the fall army worm was detected in Taiwan for the first time in June last year, and quickly spread around the island. The traps developed by TACTRI use a formula based on the

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Fishing ban on great white sharks, basking sharks, and megamouth sharks goes into effect today

Taiwan’s Fisheries Agency announced that a ban on catching great white, basking, and megamouth sharks went into effect today, November 10, after a 60-day notification period for objections to an amended law passed the threshold. The proposed ban was put forward in July this year after a series of controversial catches raised concerns of conservation groups, who have long called for the ban. In a four-day period between June 15 and June 18 this year, six rare megamouth sharks were

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Five missing after ship sinks in the Taiwan Strait

Five Thai nationals were rescued and five are missing after a ship lost power in the Taiwan Strait, then sank while being towed to the Port of Kaohsiung last night, October 23. The Seatran Ferry 12, a Tuvulu-registered passenger – vehicular ferry, had been purchased in Japan, and was en route to Thailand when the main engine and auxiliary engines failed at around 11:00 am, yesterday. The ship’s crew contacted a shipping company and hired a tug to tow it

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Freighter runs aground on coast of southern Taiwan after crew abandons crippled ship

A crew of 13 was rescued from a freighter yesterday, after the drifting vessel began to list dangerously, then the ship ran aground after an attempt to tow the vessel failed. The Sierra-Leone-registered, 2,600 ton general-cargo freighter, Zhihai 8, lost power in the early hours of the morning, yesterday, October 12. The crew abandoned ship by life raft after the ship began listing severely to starboard, threatening to overturn. Coast Guard vessels and a helicopter were dispatched from the Port

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Orchid Island resident finds lump of Ambergris worth NT$6 million

A resident of Orchid Island found a mysterious stone while fishing on a beach in March this year, and it has been confirmed that the object is a lump of ambergris worth an estimated NT$6 million (US$209, 300). Mr Lee, a resident of Longdao Village said that he was drawn to the four-kilogram stone by a strong fragrance. Suspecting it may be ambergris, Lee took the stone home. Mr Lee subjected the stone to a simple test at home –

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Crew seeking help after being stuck on ship for 2 months

A crew of 10 sailors have reached out for help after being stuck at anchor off the Port of Taichung for two months in poor living conditions and often suffering food and water shortages. “The ship is like a jail. It’s like being under arrest, like human trafficking,” the ship’s master, Saw Aungcho, told Taiwan English News. The crew consists of 7 Myanmar nationals and three Indonesians. They are onboard the MV Xing Guang 168 (IMO 8859536, call sign 9LU2317).

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Object found on island believed to be WWII era naval mine

Military bomb disposal personnel say that an object discovered on an uninhabited island in Penghu County is probably a naval mine from World War Two. A team of civilians contracted by national park authorities to do a coastal cleanup discovered the mystery object on Chutou Islet Friday, September 18. Poor sea and weather conditions prevented military unexploded ordnance disposal personnel from reaching the site until today, Monday, September 21. Media reports over the weekend noted that the mine was not

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“Mountain rat” confesses to killing endangered Formosan black bear

One of two leaders of a group of “mountain rats” – a term used in Taiwan to describe illegal loggers and timber thieves – confessed to killing, skinning, and eating a Formosan black bear, after bones were found in his camp, and pictures were found on his phone. Fifty police and 36 forestry personnel were mobilized May 7 to search for timber thieves in seven locations in Hsinchu County, Miaoli County, and Taoyuan City mountain districts, after a four-month-long investigation,

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Tropical depression intensifying and expected to affect Taiwan’s weather starting tomorrow

After the first July on record with no typhoon development in the northwest Pacific, one tropical depression was upgraded to tropical storm status today, and another is expected to intensify into a tropical storm tomorrow. Tropical cyclone Sinlaku formed out of a monsoonal low pressure system in the South China Sea and was upgraded to a named tropical storm by the China Meteorological Administration this morning, August 1. Sinlaku is moving towards the coast of southern China and Vietnam, and

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Cache of unexploded military bombs found in New Taipei City coastal waters

A popular scuba diving location has been sealed off after 13 unexploded bombs were identified by military divers in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District today, July 21. Coast Guard personnel first sealed off the area yesterday after a recreational scuba diver reported finding a large unexploded military bomb yesterday afternoon at Mao’ao Bay at around 3:00 pm. Military divers began a search of the area at around 9:00 am this morning, and by 2:45 pm had identified 13 large pieces

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Explosion, fire at Formosa Plastics refinery injures 3, causes pollution spike

Three people were injured after an explosion and fire at the Formosa Plastics Mialiao No. 6 refinery in Yunlin County this morning, and the company will be fined for breaches of the Air Pollution Control law. Twenty-three fire trucks and 76 personnel were dispatched from nearby fire stations after reports of the explosion and blaze at around 9:00 am. Yunlin County Fire Department Chief Lin Wen-shan said that the primary combustion material consisted of heavy oil and hydrogen, burning an

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