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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Six megamouth sharks caught in four days: conservation groups call for catch ban

Fishermen operating off the coast of Hualien County on Taiwan’s east coast caught six megamouth sharks between June 15 – 18, raising the concerns of environmental groups, who are calling for protection of the mysterious species. Global Knowledge The megamouth shark ( Megachasma pelagios ) was first discovered by scientists in 1976, and named in 1983. According to scientific papers, including this one, only around 100 specimens have been observed or caught as of 2018. When the megamouth sharks are

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Multiple boats destroyed by fire at fishing port

At least seven boats were destroyed by fire in Yanpu fishing port in Donggang Township, Pingtung County yesterday, including five large ocean going long-liners. The fire started on a tuna fishing boat undergoing repairs in the port at around 4:00 pm, and in windy conditions, the fire quickly spread to other vessels. Electrical wires are suspected to be the cause of the fire, according to a report in Liberty Times. A pall of thick, black smoke could be seen as

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Volunteers wanted for annual Taiwan national cleanup event June 13

Organizers of the 4th annual Taiwan National Cleanup hope that more than 1,000 volunteers will show up to pick up 10,000 kilograms of trash from the beaches, national parks, and countryside of Taiwan. Organized by Taiwan Adventure Outings (TAO), and WRAPTIEâ„¢, cleanup groups will gather at 22 locations around Taiwan on Saturday, June 13. Past cleanup events organized by the group have seen a total of 2,000 volunteers pick up around 20,000 kilograms of trash, a TNCU press release said.

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Hot weather, low oxygen causes fish kills in Taipei rivers

Hot weather and low levels of dissolved oxygen have caused fish to die in their thousands in the rivers of Greater Taipei, according the Taipei City and New Taipei City environmental protection bureaus. The EPAs tested water and found no evidence of toxicity or pollution, but oxygen levels of 2.47 mg/l. Continuous hot weather and lack of rain has caused levels of dissolved oxygen in the rivers to drop, according to inspectors. Fish kills have been reported in the Dahan,

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Rescued baby dolphin dies despite rehabilitation attempts

A young juvenile Risso’s Dolphin (Grampus griseus) died in a rehabilitation pool in Keelung City yesterday, after being found stranded on the coast at Su’ao, on Taiwan’s north-east coast. Coast guard officers notified Taiwan Cetacean Society at around noon on April 1 that an injured juvenile Risso’s dolphin was stranded on a beach near Su’ao Harbor. A veterinarian identified wounds suspected to be caused by a cookie-cutter shark (Isistius brasiliensis). The dolphin was transferred to a rehabilitation center in Keelung

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Whale shark rescued after stranding on Green Island

Up to twenty people helped to keep a 7-meter-long whale shark alive before pushing it back into the sea on Green Island, in a difficult rescue operation involving Coast Guard officers, marine scientists, and members of the general public, yesterday, December 22. Coast Guard officers on Green Island received a report at around 4:30 pm that a large whale shark was seen stranded on rocks at Sleeping Beauty Rock Beach. When coast guard officers arrived at the scene, residents of

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