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Taiwan Begins First Ban on Elver Fishing

Lucy Towers
05 March 2014, at 12:00am

TAIWAN - Taiwan has started its eight-month ban on elver fishing, with the aim of sustaining the species by saving six to 10 per cent of young eels each year.

In a bid to make the industry more sustainable, the Fisheries Agency introduced a measure last September to ban elver fishing annually from 1 March to 31 October, reports FocusTaiwan.

During that period, elver fishing is prohibited in waters three nautical miles off the coastline, on tidal flats and near estuaries around Taiwan, excluding Hualien and Taitung counties.

Violators will be subject to a fine of between NT$30,000 (US$989) and NT$150,000, according to the regulation.

The elver fishing season in Taiwan usually lasts from October to April and it is during that period that the eels migrate from fresh waterways to spawn in the sea and new elvers swim back to the rivers.

However, some critics say the ban is "just for show" and is not enough to save the increasingly endangered species.