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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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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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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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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