coral reef fishing net

More than 20 hobby divers from Penghu, Taoyuan in northern Taiwan and Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan joined an operation initiated by eco-group “Island 77” Monday to clear fishing nets on the ocean bottom around the Penghu islands in order to save the habitat for coral reefs.

Island 77 founder Yeh Sheng-hung said that bottom trawling by fishing boats operating in the region posed a serious threat to coral reefs and their inhabitants, and nets caught on the reefs had led to the fragmenting and death of coral reefs.

Since 2000, the fishery bureau of Penghu County and the Penghu Zooxanthellae Association have organized divers to clear nets from coral reefs in the region, and the volume of nets cleared over the past years totaled more than 160,000 meters.

Tuesday’s action was a private initiative with the participation of hobby divers, including coast guard officers, firemen and workers from the Penghu County Government.

The two dozen divers cleared nearly 1 kilometer of nets from the coral reefs.

The Penghu County Government said that starting next year, a special budget will be set aside to clear the ocean floor in the region to protect the ecosystem in the region.


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