Penghu fish death mystery

There have recently been mass fish deaths in the waters around Penghu, a group of islands of the coast of Taiwan. According to the Taipei Times 50 tonnes of fish carcasses were cleaned up from Penghu’s beaches. The impacts on Penghu’s fishing industry are quite severe. An estimated 80% of the stocks in the fish farms were lost with a financial cost of NT$180 million (US$5.75 million). For more information about the disaster also see this video from BBC News.

News articles attributed the mass fish deaths to a cold snap causing a drop in water temperatures. A letter in the Taipei Times today said the deaths may be related to the dumping of two tonnes of cyanide in sea off Penghu in 2006. Another Taipei Times article suggests the disaster may be related to construction of bridges restricting the flow of water and exacerbating the effects of the drop in water temperature.

Whether this incident is related is to climate change or over-engineering of the environment it should serve as a warning signal. Everyone is dependent on the environment and needs to treat it with greater respect. The fact that neither of Taiwan’s Presidential candidate are serious about enviromental issues does not bode well for Taiwan’s future.

5 thoughts on “Penghu fish death mystery

  1. David, 的確,我們台灣的選舉人物的確很少關心民生議題。不知是否你的國家也是如此?我們台灣政治人物值得檢討。

  2. Last year my wife and I lived in Penghu, and ate a lot of seafood. We noted a disturbing trend towards autism in some of the children she was teaching, an an overall – vague at first, but more obvious as time went on – “dumbness” to the locals. Towards the end, we began noticing our own personal lethargy, and began suspecting strongly that something was amiss in the otherwise clean-looking waters surrounding our archipelago home. We wonder if this latest crop of dead fish might not be yet another sign of something more sinister.

  3. Melody, in Australia the Green Party vote is about 10% compared with 0.5% in Taiwan. So people and the government probably pay more attention to these issues. However, I still feel in Australia that the government doesn’t always listen to the people about some important issues. (I hope you don’t mind me replying to your comment in English).

    Portnoy, thanks for the link.

    Joshua, I have always thought that Taiwan must have its own Minamata Bay Disaster, it’s just that nobody has ever documented it.

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