Taijiang National Park's efforts in promoting the creation of eco-friendly habitats are awarded the "Wetland Mark" certificate issued by the Ministry of the Interior
The Taijiang area has a long history of fish farming. The farming of milkfish in shallow water style is suspended in winter, which has been proven to be closely related to the biodiversity of migratory birds in Taijiang. It is also the reason why the area is the largest winter habitat for black-faced spoonbills the past several hundred years. However, due to the changes in the natural environment and industry, traditional milkfish farming has been changed to intensive contract farming and production all year round for higher economic benefits. The population of black-faced spoonbills once thought to be endangered, has grown to 4,864 under the nature conservation efforts, according to the global census in 2020, which is several times more than the number when Taijiang National Park was established. Therefore, the proliferation of the black-faced spoonbill population and the insufficient habitat space within the park have become issues the national park has to face.
In order to maintain the local traditional culture of "harmonious coexistence of man and nature," the Headquarters of Taijiang National Park spares no efforts in the conservation of habitats and starts to focus on the relationship between private fish farming around the park area and the habitats for winter migratory birds. The office develops a conservation strategy based on the concept of "creation of eco-friendly habitat,"hoping to create a complete habitat for winter migratory birds in the greater Taijiang area. The comprehensive conservation strategy adopting wise use of wetlands was supported by all scholars and experts at the wetland mark review meeting conducted by the Ministry of the Interior on July 10th and was awarded the Wetland Mark certificate by the Ministry of the Interior on August 10th.
The Headquarters stated that the promotion for the creation of eco-friendly habitats does not require fish farmers to go back to the traditional farming method, but to take advantage of the traditional farming culture at Taijiang to lower the water level after harvesting, leave unwanted fish, and not drive away birds during birds' migration period. Fish farmers in the Taijiang area who are willing to participate in the efforts to create eco-friendly habitats and receive counseling and recognition from the office will receive free Wetland Mark labels on the processed products, cultural creativity products, eco-tourism, and various environmental education based on their fish ponds.
As for 2020, 3 people from the fish farming production and marketing offices of Cheng-Hsi Neighborhood of An-Nan District, Qigu District, and a second-generation fish farmer, who returned home to contribute to the fish farming efforts, have agreed to provide 10.8 hectares of fish ponds to become collaborating partners in the creation of eco-friendly habitats. The office will also incorporate the administrative resources from the Fisheries Research Institute and provide comprehensive technical counseling to offer grants and programs such as neighborhood protection and ecotourism, further promoting more collaborative efforts with the local fish farmers to realize the vision of co-create wetlands. For any questions, please contact the Specialist, Mr. Shang-Chin Yang, at the Conservation Research Division of the office at 06-2842600 #1608.