On November 21, the Ocean Affairs Council (OAC) and the Kaohsiung City Government were teaming up with the European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan (ECCT) to participate in the “Kaohsiung Beach Cleanup Day " at the beach outside the Kaohsiung Cijin Shell Museum, and they contributed efforts to protect the ocean. Mr. Liu Kuo-lieh, the secretary-general of the OAC, Ms. Huang Hsiang-wen, the director-general of the Ocean Conservation Administration, Mr. Freddie Höglund, the CEO of the ECCT, and Mayor Chen of the Kaohsiung City Government jointly attended the beach cleaning activity with more than 250 people including the ECCT’s member corporates to restore the beautiful coastline and glamorous seascape and garnered the consensus of the public on marine conservation.
Secretary-General Liu mentioned that lots of people joining forces on this event with their families represent that the public gradually pays more attention to the issue of marine environmental protection, which makes this beach cleaning activity have both social and family educational significance. He also expressed appreciation for those who continue to care for ocean conservation. Besides, OAC strives to construct Taiwan as an ocean country with ecological sustainability, maritime security, and industrial prosperity. By formulating the "Ocean Basic Act" in 2019, it clearly appoints June 8 as the National Ocean Day each year, and we concretely realized the content per the Act. Accordingly, OAC announced the "National Ocean Policy White Paper" as a developing blueprint for Taiwan’s policy on ocean affairs in 2020.
OAC pointed out that the Executive Yuan has actively introduced a "Salute to the Seas" policy from this year, encouraging people to "know the seas," "close to the seas," "enter the seas," and "clean the seas." Different government departments work together to confirm that every inch of the coastline has been well managed. Among “salute to the seas” policy them, the most basic and essential task is to clean the beach; also, OAC has initiated a marine environmental protection fleet composed of fishing vessels, as well as a waste-removal diving group, to launch projects to clean the seabed, sea garbage, and discarded fishing nets jointly.
Simultaneously, the measures for the interception of river garbage and the real-name system of drift gillnet are adopted by the authorities for source reduction policy. In terms of the end process of treatment, the Marine Waste Recycling Alliance held by OAC can make marine debris reborn and make them into backpacks, clothes, even sunglasses, pens, and other items, turning garbage into gold and creating value for the recycling economy business opportunities.
Via today’s event, not only can beach litter be reduced, but more importantly, we do what we say for the practice of ocean education, calling on the public to implement plastic-free and source reduction actions in their daily life in addition to beach cleaning actions. In the future, OAC will continue to promote the implementation of various action plans to protect the ocean, and look forward to the joint efforts with the City Government to make Kaohsiung, a harbor city, more and more stunning and magnificent to attract more European and foreign travelers come to Taiwan for its unique seascape and get to know more about the Kaohsiung’s beauty of marina.