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Taiwanese humpback dolphins. Center for Biological Diversity

The National Marine Fisheries Service protected rare Taiwanese humpback dolphins on Tuesday, listing the species as "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act. The decision comes in response to a March 2016 petition from the Animal Welfare Institute, Center for Biological Diversity and WildEarth Guardians seeking U.S. protections to help prevent the extinction of a population that now numbers fewer than 100 individuals.

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EPA Minister Lee Ying-yuan outlines the government's plan for cutting plastic waste on Feb. 13 in Taipei City. Taiwan EPA

Taiwan's Environmental Protection Agency, in cooperation with a number of environmental organizations, proposed an ambitious 12-year timeline Tuesday to eliminate four types of single-use plastics—takeaway beverage cups, drinking straws, shopping bags and disposable tableware—by 2030 to tackle plastic pollution.

Taiwan, the birthplace of bubble tea, is famous for its unique food and drink culture, but the plastic vessels that come with the treats make up the vast majority of the country's beach litter. Additionally, the Tamsui River in the north was declared the 16th dirtiest river in the world for leaching 14,700 tons of plastic debris into the ocean every year.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Rooftop solar at Marcus Garvey Village in Brooklyn. Demand Energy

By Edward Barbier and Terry Iverson

President Donald Trump's decision to impose punitive duties on imported solar panels and related equipment is rankling most of the industry.

This was the final step of a process that began when two U.S. subsidiaries of foreign solar panel makers filed a rarely used kind of trade complaint with the International Trade Commission. Trump largely followed the course of action the independent U.S. agency had recommended to protect domestic manufacturers from unfair competition.

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Greenpeace International

By Steve Smith

Thousands of miles apart, two Greenpeace ships propelled our global oceans campaign forward today.

This morning in Taiwan—home to the world’s largest tuna fishing fleet—Greenpeace activists took action at the largest shipbuilding yard there. The activists unfurled a large banner saying “Overfishing Starts Here” at a facility where massive industrial fishing boats destined to fish across the globe's oceans are built.

Destructive overfishing has already put the future of our oceans—and the billions of people dependent on them for food and jobs—at risk. The bottom line is simple: future generations need fewer huge fishing boats and more fish.

That’s why our activists in Taiwan took action today: the Taiwanese government has been side-stepping international agreements and sending fishing vessels to the corners of the planet, determined to catch the very last fish.

While the Taiwanese fishing barons profit now, the people of Taiwan and the artisanal fishing communities will pay the price for the industrial fleets fishing themselves out of existence.

Meanwhile, the Rainbow Warrior arrived in Mauritius today.

Having completed patrols of the southwestern Indian Ocean, the Greenpeace flagship arrived in Port Louis, where it will host public events over the next few days. The campaign team on board will also be meeting with industry and government officials to discuss ways to end overfishing.

Port Louis is a major hub port for the region’s tuna fishing fleet and the talks to be held in coming days will focus on the action needed from governments and industry to ensure legal, sustainable and equitable tuna fisheries—crucial for the creation of fishing jobs.

Greenpeace's expedition into the Indian Ocean—the world’s second largest tuna fishery, behind only the Pacific—is highlighting the problems of illegal fishing and the threat overfishing poses to the region’s people.

Today is a very exciting day. Our oceans campaign’s very first major confrontation with shipbuilding and our first visit to Port Louis to discuss overfishing.

Our work to defend our oceans for the future continues in Taiwan, Mauritius and elsewhere.

The solution here is you—by demanding your supermarkets carry sustainable tuna and urging your tuna brands to source their tuna from responsible fisheries, together we can leave our children a future of fish in the ocean, in nets and on plates.

Visit EcoWatch’s BIODIVERSITY page for more related news on this topic.

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Steve Smith is based in Greenpeace International's Amsterdam office.

 

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