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World Oceans Day

Last Update:2015-12-18

II. Taiwan’s Marine Protected Areas

1. Definition, Key Work and Visions of Development

Taiwan’s Marine Protected Areas

Definition of Taiwan’s Marine Protected Areas:
“An area extending seaward from mean high tide line to a certain range, with special natural features, important cultural heritages and sustainable use of ecological resources, protected by law or other effective means.”

Future Key Work
1. Setting annual MPA enforcement plan, for concrete management and enforcement.
2. Timely reviewing the demarcation and management strategy of MPAs under jurisdiction, progressively extending the coverage of “no-take zone” in MPAs.
3. Gradual promoting MPA networks, to implement planning of marine space, in order to improve the effectiveness of MPAs.
4. Establishing protection level classification system of MPAs, and putting signboards at suitable locations along the coast of MPA, to give warning and propaganda effects.
5. Promoting the concept of the marine conservation and sustainable use of resources, and enhancing the work of educational outreach in a broader and deeper extent.
6. Adequately introducing the strengths from people of communities and civil groups, to establish the mechanism of joint stewardship on MPAs.
7. Monitoring the ecological environment of the MPAs by means of scientific research or survey.

Visions of development:
1. Sustainable use of marine ecological resources, and proper protection of special natural features and cultural heritages of sea areas.
2. Protect the marine ecosystem and marine biological diversity, while also looking after the social economic need of the coastal communities.
3. Establishment of MPA networks, to increase the benefit of MPAs.
4. Establishment of proper legal framework, and have MPAs included in a higher level of policy and integrated framework of marine spatial management.

Distribution of Taiwan’s MPAs

Classification of Protection Levels and Status of Taiwan’s MPAs

2. Classification of Protection Levels and Status of Taiwan’s MPAs

2-2-1 Status of Establishment of Taiwan’s MPAs
Concurrently Taiwan’s MPAs have been demarcated in accordance with the Fisheries Act, the National Parks Law, the Wildlife Conservation Act, the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act, and the Statute for the Development of Tourism, with different levels of control, from multifunctional use of the most lenient to the most stringent use of no entry. Taiwan’s MPAs have a total area of 30,035 square kilometers, covering 46.15% of Taiwan’s territorial sea of 65,076

System of Classification in Levels of Protection

1. MPAs of “No entry or impact”:

Subject to prior authorization by the competent authorities, the access to the range of this class of MPAs is restricted to scientific research, survey or restocking; or entry is allowed, but prohibited from any conducts that may impact or damage the ecosystem, cultural heritages or natural features of the areas.
(a) Dongsha Atoll National Park – Marine Ecological Protection Area
(b) Kenting National Park – Marine Ecological Protection Area and Marine Designated Scenic Area
(c) Mianhua Islet and Huaping Islet Wildlife Refuges – Buffer Area
(d) Penghu Cat Islet Seabirds Refuge – Buffer Area
(e) Penghu Columnar Basalt Natural Reserve – Sea area
(f) Xuhai Guanyinbi Natural Reserve – Sea area

Dongsha Atoll National Park
Dongsha Atoll is situated in the northern part of the South China Sea, formed by coral reefs over millions of years, in the shape of full moon. Due to its geographic, ecological specialties, and diverse marine organisms, it was established as Dongsha Atoll National Park in January 2007. It has land and sea area of 353,668 Hectares, ranging from the center of the atoll bounded by the outer boundary of the 12-mile territorial sea.

Kenting National Park

Kenting is rich in marine resources (Kenting National Park Administration, Construction and Planning Agency Ministry of Interior)

Announced in 1982, Kenting National Park is Taiwan’s first national park. With its three sides facing the sea, it is one of the very few national parks in Taiwan, covered by both land and sea. Due to movement of Earth’s crust over millions of years, the cross-erosive effect of land and sea, has made Kenting possessing special geographical features of high-level coral reef, erosive coast and cliff.

Penghu Cat Islet Seabirds Refuge
Situated in Wang’an Township of Penghu County, the large and small Cat Islets have an area of about 10 Hectares. They are surrounded by steep cliffs, which are barely visited by human beings, and have thus maintained a complete natural feature. The islets inhabit various birds, and every March to September is the breeding season of birds. During peak breeding season, the islets are crowded by tens of thousand of birds. The species of birds and numbers found in these islets are higher than that of other islets in Penghu County, and also rarely seen in other outer islands of Taiwan.

Penghu Columnar Basalt Natural Reserve
The reserve includes Dinggou Islet, Jishan Islet and Xiaobaisha Islet, which are three non-inhabited islets in Penghu County. The target of conservation is the local special geological feature of columnar basalt. The reserve is situated at the junction of the tributary of the Kurishio Current, the South China Sea monsoon current, and tidal current, with rich fisheries resources in its neighboring sea.

Xuhai Guanyinbi Natural Reserve
It is situated in Mudan Township, Pingtung County. It is facing the Pacific to its east, the Dongyuan Basin to its west, and separated by the Tawa Stream from Taitung County to its north, and separated by the Mudanbi Hill with the Xuhai Plain as neighbor to its south. Its geographic feature includes mainly small streams and erosive coast, one of the many few well-maintained natural coastal and estuarine features. Along the ancient trail, ferret badgers, crabs and other precious species can be seen, showing the reserve possesses many rare precious animal resources.

Coastal feature of Xuhai Guanyinbi Natural Reserve (Picture from Forestry Bureau, Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan)

Dongsha Atoll National Park

2. “No take” MPAs:

This category of MPA is entirely prohibited from using of the natural or cultural resources through harvesting or exploiting.
(a) Dongsha Atoll National Park –Designated Scenic Area
(b) Kenting National Park – marine recreation area and general restriction area
(c) Taitung Fushan Fisheries Resources Conservation Area – Core area
(d) Taitung Ludao Fisheries Resources Conservation Area – Shilong and Chaikou Sub-areas

Taitung Fushan Fisheries Conservation Area – Core area

It is situated in Shanyuan Community of Fushan Village, Beinan Township in Taitung County. It has rich ecological resources along the east coast of Taiwan, with many species of coral and intertidal terrain species. For the sake of inserting more efforts on marine protection, and the concept of sustainability of fisheries, in 2005 the government of Taitung County demarcated the Fushan Fisheries Conservation Area by extending 500 meters seaward from the coast along Highway Tai11 between Chaolai Bridge and 154 Km. point, to be preserved jointly by the government and the local residents with the formation of an administrative mechanism.

Fushan Fisheries Conservation Area

Taitung Ludao Fisheries Conservation Area – Shilong and Chaikou Sub-areas
The government of Taitung County formed 6 fisheries conservation areas on Ludao. Among which Shilong and Chaikou are designated as diving areas, prohibiting taking of any aquatic animals and plants all year round; Guiwan Sub-area is opened to harvesting between January and April every year, but prohibited from catching teira batfish all year round: Nanliao Sub-area is opened to harvesting between May and August; and Gongguan Sub-area is opened to harvesting between January and April. In all sub-areas, except during the time opened for harvesting, no harvesting of aquatic animals and plants in any forms is permitted.

3. “Multifunction” MPAs:

Under the prerequisites of sustainable use, certain harvesting activities are restricted, while allowing to a certain extent, the use of ecological resources.

(a) Fisheries Resources Conservation Areas and Closed Fishing Areas for Respective Fishing Gears, Fishing Methods, and Specific Fisheries

Fisheries Resources Conservation Areas: There are 26 localities of fisheries resources conservation areas, including Taiping Island Sea Turtles Breeding Refuge, Nansha Islands (Spratly Islands) of Kaohsiung City; Mud Shrimp Breeding Conservation Area in Changhua County, Pingtung Liuqiu Conservation Area; Ludao Fisheries Resources Conservation Area in Taitung County; Fushan Fisheries Conservation Area in Taitung County, Kuningtou Northwest Intertidal Terrain Horseshoe Crab Conservation Area in Kinmen County, etc.

Larval Fishery Closed Areas: Announced by Yilan County, New Taipei City, Taoyuan County, Hsinchu City, Hsinchu County, Taichung City, Tainan City, Kaohsiung City, Pingtung County and Hualien County, that larval fishing vessels are only permitted to fish in areas beyond 500 meters extending from the coast, and no cross-county/city operations are permitted.

Gill-net Fishery Closed Areas: Announced by Keelung City, New Taipei City, Pingtung County, and Penghu County, that 8 locations are prohibited from using gill-net for fishing.

Torch Light Net Fishery Closed Areas: Announced by Yilan County, Keelung City, New Taipei City, Miaoli County, Tainan City, Kaohsiung City, Pingtung County, Taitung County, Hualien County, and Penghu County, that areas 3 nautical miles from coast are torch light fishery closed fishing areas.

Pot Fishery Closed Areas: Penghu County announced that areas in Neiwan and Nei’an are closed for pot fishing; and Kaohsiung City announced areas 3 nautical miles from coast of Qieding District are closed for pot fishing.

Artificial Reef Closed Fishing Areas: There are 88 localities of artificial reef closed fishing areas, and 69 localities of protected reef areas in the waters of Taiwan. Using of net gears for fishing is prohibited in these areas.

Coral Fishery Closed Areas: Announced by Yilan County, Pingtung County, Taitung County, and Penghu County, that areas 12 nautical miles from coast are prohibited from harvesting of coral (including coral reef).

Areas 3 nautical miles from coast of Taiwan are totally prohibited from the operations of trawl fishing.

(b) Taijiang National Park – Sea Areas of General Restriction

Sandbank of Taijiang internal sea (Picture from: Taijiang National Park Administration, Construction and Planning Agency, MOI)

(c) Sea areas of National Designated Scenic Areas of Northeast Coast, Ludao and Penghu

Taijiang National Park
Areas along the coast of Tainan were one of the areas cultivated by the Han people crossing the Taiwan Strait. For a long time, these areas were used for saltpans, ports, and fishponds. In the course of Taiwan’s rapid economic development, there reserved a vast stretch of precious wetland ecosystem, not only distributing a wide range of mangrove, but also becoming important habitats for rare birds, such as, black-faced spoonbill. In view of the precious historical footprints, as well as the natural ecological resources, the Taijiang National Park was thus established in December 2009, allowing Taiwan to reserve a broader diversity of ecosystems, and rich gene and historic monument.

Northeast Coast National Designated Scenic Areas
The Northeast Coast has many astounding geological features, with coastal terrains bounded by Sandiao Cape, and to its north is the typical settling coastal terrain, with rocks formed by continuous erosion, abrasion, weathering and movement of waves and gusty northeast monsoon wind over millions of years, creating rocks of peculiar shapes, such as the shapes of mushroom in the mushroom-shaped rocks, the shape of tofu in the tofu rocks, the shape of beehives in the beehive rocks.

Ludao National Designated Scenic Area
It was formed by the pushing of volcanic island arc to create a coastal mountain range, as a part of the northern extension of the Luzon Volcanic Island Arc, formed by solidified island arc andesitic magma and consisting of marine sedimentary rocks of volcanic origin. It has a unique scenic beauty, and is surrounded by sea with over 220 species of corals, where various species of tropical fish and invertebrates gather. It is an excellent location for diving tour.

Penghu National Designated Scenic Area
People resemble the Penghu Islands as a string of pearls sprinkled in the Taiwan Strait. It has charming scenery. All of the 90 large and small islands were formed by basalt, with the exception of Hua Islet at the utmost west, which was formed by andesite. Within the island group, there are two wildlife refuges, the Cat Islet Seabird Refuge and the Wang’an Green Turtle Nesting Refuge. In addition, there is the Columnar Basalt Natural Reserve. The scenic area covers the land area of the Pengu Islands and the sea area extending seaward to waters having the isobaths of 20 meters.

Qimei Heart-Shaped Stone Fish Trap (Picture from: Penghu National Park Administration)

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