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On World Oceans Day, County Magistrate, Chen Guang-fu, declared the action of "No Plastic Found in the Ocean”
Penghu County Government 2018-06-09 353
    In response to the World Oceans Day on the 8th of June of each year, Environmental Protection Administration, Executive Yuan held 2018 World Oceans Days activities with 19 bay cities in Taiwan, in order to remind the public of the environmental issues of marine plastic waste. This year, the activity was held on June 9th at the plaza of Ziwei Temple in Suo-Gang community. County Magistrate Chen Guang-fu, Legislator Yang Yao, Minister of Environmental Protection Administration Li Ying-yuan and other central and local heads and elected representatives jointly voiced and declared the determination to execute "No Plastic Found in the Ocean” in Taiwan.

    Surrounded by the sea, Taiwan has a variety of coastal landscapes and abundant marine resources. However, a large amount of marine debris carried by ocean currents is accumulated at the coasts, beaches, and sediments, or is deposited on the seabed, and thus is mistaken by marine life and seabirds which results in their extinction. It has caused serious pollution of the ocean and has affected the marine ecology. In order to respond to the issue of marine plastic waste raised by United Nations and the international groups, and to safeguard the marine life, the prevention of plastic pollution is set as the core of 2018 World Oceans Day. Hereby, we advocate the reduction of the use of plastic products.

    County Magistrate Chen pointed out that the coastline of Penghu is 370 kilometers long. When the northeast monsoon comes, the waste from China and Taiwan will be deposited on the coastline. The county government actively cooperates with the township offices and the communities to launch the beach cleanup activities. Annually, we clear up about 1,860 kilometers, and dispose of 457 metric tons of driftwood. He further emphasized that the ocean is our mother and urged everyone to reduce the use of plastic waste and to jointly protect the marine environment.

    Minister Li said that to reduce marine debris should start from the reduction of waste on land. Since the 1st of January, 2018, the rule of plastic limit has been extended. Plastic bags are no longer provided for free. We appreciate the understanding from more than 80% of the public. Moreover, it is expected that the disposal plastic straws should be prohibited in 2019. With the regulations, we expect to change people's living habits while to prevent marine pollution requires everyone to work together.

    During the activity, Minister of Environmental Protection Administration, Li Ting-Yuan, praised the excellent enterprises for the promotion of “Excellent Green Purchasing Execution from Private Enterprises and Groups in 2017” and the “Best Green Shops in 2017.” He also presented the environmental fleet with a flag. The 10 new fishing boat representatives who joined the environmental protection fleet demonstrated their joint efforts and the determination to protect the ocean, and were given the title by Minster of Ocean Conservation Administration, Ocean Affairs Council, Huang Xiang-wen. Finally, County Magistrate Chen and all the distinguished guests jointly declared the action of “No Plastic Found in the Ocean." In addition, two large-scale creation works made by marine debris were demonstrated with 12 winning works from the national painting competition of “The Most Beautiful Bay ‧ the Plastic Free Ocean” and plastic particle models. A marine knowledge challenge zone and a market of marine waste renovation craftwork were set up. There were several activities such as underwater exploration experiences, beach cleanup activities, etc., so that people could understand the sea from various angles and be able to “close to the sea, know the sea, and love the sea.” Furthermore, people could have a deeper understanding of the harm from plastic waste to the ocean and put it into practice.

    In addition, in order to understand the execution progress of the seabed fishnet clearing by the county government, Legislator Yang Yao, Minister of Environmental Protection Administration Li Ying-yuan, Minster of Ocean Conservation Administration, Ocean Affairs Council, Huang Xiang-wen, and Chief Secretary of Fisheries Agency, Miu Tsu-Chan, inspected the results from 15 divers. A total of 1 ton of seabed fishnets were cleared.

    At the end, Environmental Protection Administration appealed to the fishermen, tourists and the public not to throw rubbish into the sea or to leave it on the beach when engaging in maritime activities. In daily time, we should start from ourselves and tell surrounding friends to reduce the use of plastic products or disposable beverage cups, and to do recycling so as to avoid the inflow of garbage into the ocean. The next generation of Penghu residents rely on our actions to have the rich marine resources.
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