By: Tyson Lu and S.C. Chang
Taipei, March 23 (CNA) A scuba diving coach has warned that the
population of batfish in waters near Green Island, which lies off the coast of Taitung, is shrinking fast and could disappear entirely if action is not taken to protect the species.
The coach, who prefers to be identified as Mingge or Brother Ming, said that on his most recent dive along the island’s Iron Reef he saw only three roundface batfish, which was a drastic reduction from 70 in 2007 when he began recording the numbers.
Mingge said he was inviting people who have ecological concerns to join him in a campaign on April 9 to protect the ocean and the batfish species.
Over 70 percent of Green Island’s population is dependent on tourism, which generates an economic output that far exceeds that of fishing, said Mingge, urging the public to work together to turn the island into a reserve area for certain marine species.
The current conservation rules could be modified to ban fishing in certain areas around the island while keeping other areas open, he suggested. [FULL STORY]