By Shelley Shan
The government has designated 14 angling areas in commercial seaports across the nation and ensured their safety in compliance with the Executive Yuan’s “salute to the seas” policy, the Port and Maritime Bureau said yesterday.
Eighteen fishing accidents happened in commercial seaports in the past five years, bureau data showed.
Eight people were killed, eight were injured and two were reported missing in those accidents, the data showed.
The Port of Taichung had the highest number of fishing accidents, in which two people were killed and seven were injured, they showed.
The Port of Taichung’s north breakwater area — a habitat for a wide variety of fish — has drawn more than 58,000 fishing enthusiasts since its opening in October last year as the nation’s demonstration area for recreational fishing, Bureau Deputy Director-General Chen Pin-chuan (陳賓權) said.
It is crucial that the bureau keeps such locations safe for all angling enthusiasts, he said.
Chen said the bureau has inspected 14 designated fishing areas in all commercial seaports and implemented safety measures, including setting up warning signs and making sure that lifebuoys and ropes are available.
To manage the Port of Taichung’s north breakwater area more effectively, the bureau has entrusted the Taiwan Fishermens’ Association with the task of maintaining the safety there, Chen said.
The association has also launched an awareness campaign on the importance of conserving oceanic resources by issuing an eco-friendly fishing ID card and a manual on sustainable fishing at the Port of Taichung, he said.
For their own safety, fishers are advised to wear life jackets and other protective gear, and monitor the waves and sea weather reports, the bureau said.