Measures for handling flowing marine debris and marine debris found on the seabed
We attempt to solve the marine debris problem by attacking it from seven different “angles”:
1. Complete laws:
Since taking over marine environment management and pollution-related responsibilities delegated by the Environmental Protection Administration on April 28, 2018, we reviewed one law, 12 orders, seven substantive laws, and seven administrative rules, all of which were in place to regulate marine engineering operations in public and private locations, as well as marine dumping-related pollution. In addition, we referenced international marine pollution-related regulations before amending our laws, ensuring that they are complete and in line with those enforced internationally.
2. Marine debris monitoring
(1)Flowing marine debris: Since 2019, we have worked with the private sector to monitor marine debris via methods such as visual surveys, satellite and remote monitoring, and unmanned aerial vehicles. Moreover, we have worked with the Coast Guard Administration and went on experimental trips to survey flowing marine debris, on the basis of which basic marine debris data were built.
(2)Microbeads: In 2019, we were commissioned to survey the microbeads in marine life.
3. Monitoring marine removal
(1)Help local units clean oceans: Help local governments clean flowing marine debris and marine debris found on the seabed
(2)Supervise port management: On November 2, 2018, we hosted a Marine Debris Removal Seminar, urging port management units to clean and maintain port area environments and manage abandoned fishing tackle.
(3)Environmental protection ship promotion: We continue to work with the Fisheries Agency and local governments to “recruit” environmental protection ships, encouraging them to bring back garbage that they have created and collect marine debris that they have gathered during their catch. They are urged to properly handle marine debris once they are back to the shore to prevent marine debris from continuing to damage the ocean environment.
4. New technology promotion:
In 2019, we subsidized NT$4.416 million to the Tainan City Government to take on a project called “Project for Assessing the Feasibility of Environmentally Friendly Floating Gears Used to Rear True Oysters in Culturing Rafts” to improve fishing industry equipment. The goal was to find a replacement for polystyrene-made floating gears.
5. Education promotion:
We used the education promotion method to raise the public’s awareness of the marine environment protection, transforming such awareness into actions and making marine protection a national activity.
6. Information disclosure:
In 2018, we built an online information platform (https://iocean.oca.gov.tw/OCA_OceanConservation/), in which an interface is used to publicize marine conservation and marine environment protection-related information. We continue to improve the functions of said platform and integrate marine debris-related survey data of Taiwan (e.g., Coastal Clean-Up System used by the Environmental Protection Administration, results of various county and city government’s ocean-cleaning operations, and coastal cleaning records of the private sector). Said integrated data demonstrate Taiwan’s devotion to marine pollution prevention and control as well as disclose Taiwan’s complete marine conservation and maintenance information.
7. International exchanges:
We actively participate in related international seminars and meetings with Japan, the United States, and Europe to gain insights into various countries’ current marine pollution and environmental management situations, and exchange ideas and experience. Such knowledge is used to determine management methods that are suitable for handling Taiwan’s marine debris. Through international exchanges and collaboration, we solve marine debris and pollution problems together.
In 2018, subsidized local governments in 772 ocean-cleaning activities that attracted 35,599 participants; cleaned over 499 tons of marine debris; from January to May 20, 2019, 148 ocean-cleaning activities were held, attracting 8,064 participants; we cleaned over 311 tons of marine debris (including flowing marine debris, marine debris on the seabed, and beach litter).