Taiwan’s reef threatened

A portion of Taiwan’s coral reefs are damaged and disappearing, with less than 10 percent of live coral coverage in the waters around Hsiao Liouciou Island and Green Island, according to the 2010 findings released by the Taiwan Environmental Information Association (TEIA) yesterday.

The main reasons for the coral decay are the rampant tourism in the area, visitors who search for natural souvenirs and the disposal of trash and waste in the waters from nearby hotels. Typhoons also played a part in the coral damage, the study found.

For the study, the TEIA recruited 121 volunteer divers in June to survey the ocean beds surrounding the Northeast Coast, Taitung Shanyuan, Green Island, Orchid Island, Hsiao Liouciou Island and Penghu Islands.

The international standards of the health of living coral is determined by its coverage area, with coral coverage between 50 and 75 percent deemed