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Premier encourages continued cultivation of ocean resources for next generation

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Premier Su Tseng-chang received a briefing Thursday from the Environmental Protection Administration and Ocean Affairs Council on the 2021 results of the "Salute to the Seas" policy initiatives to clean up and promote access to the ocean. The ocean is a critical channel for Taiwan's advancement, the premier said, and the government continues to bolster the development of ocean affairs through organizations, laws and policies to cultivate a broader vision and outlook toward the sea in Taiwan's next generation.

Taiwan is surrounded by ocean, the premier continued, with nearly 2,000 kilometers of coastline, beautiful vistas and teeming natural resources. To demonstrate its resolve to protect the ocean, the government established the Ocean Affairs Council in 2018 and promulgated the Ocean Basic Act in 2019. In 2020, it published the National Ocean Policy White Paper and committed to the Salute to the Seas policy, founded upon principles of openness, transparency, service, education and responsibility. This policy embraces and draws knowledge from the ocean, encouraging the public to clean up, learn about, closely engage with and even enter the sea.

In efforts to clean the ocean, the government in the past two years has reduced coastal trash by 40%, implemented a real-name traceability system for 100% of gill nets used by fishing boats, and pushed aquaculture fisheries to switch from styrofoam buoys to eco-friendly ones, the premier said. Taiwan also sent a delegation to the Our Ocean Conference in Palau to share its contributions as a member of the Pacific region to the marine environment and sustainable development.

As for promoting access to the ocean, the government has reviewed and lifted restrictions on seven coastal control zones, removed controls on nearly 170 kilometers of coastline, and opened up 117 fishing spots. The government has also made significant improvements to recreational water facilities at national scenic areas, national parks, and ports and harbors.

Wednesday will mark the United Nations' World Ocean Day, the premier said. He encouraged central government agencies to work with local authorities on refining measures to allow Taiwan to achieve its full potential as a maritime country.

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