Marine waste poses threat to Penghu's coastlines

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Marine waste poses threat to Penghu's coastlines

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Taipei, Aug. 14 (CNA) An environmental group on Monday called for more beach cleanup efforts to reduce marine litter that is posing a severe threat to the beautiful coastlines of the Penghu archipelago.

In a report released after a four-day survey of four islands in the southern part of Penghu, the foundation Citizens of the Sea described the amount of marine waste accumulated along their coastlines as "appalling and scary."

The survey was conducted by kayak from Aug. 10 to Aug. 13 in cooperation with the Taiwan Kayak Association.

According to Weng Chen-sheng (翁珍聖), executive director of Citizens of the Sea, an estimated 8 million tons of waste are being discarded in the seas worldwide every year, of which 43 percent comes from China, particularly the Pearl River Delta in the country's southeastern region.

A large amount of the waste, which includes styrofoam, fishing nets, PET bottles and large electrical appliances, has been brought to Penghu by waves and currents, he said.

Because most boats are unable to get close to the coastlines, the waste can only be removed slowly through beach cleanup activities, Weng said.

Sun Chung-shih (孫崇實), a member of the association, said he has kayaked in the waters around Penghu every year and has discovered that the environment on Penghu's coastlines is "getting worse and worse."

During the survey, marine litter spanning 100 meters long and 20 meters wide was seen on the northern coastline of the uninhabited islet of Chutou Yu alone, he said.

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