Shouldering Taiwan’s “National Marine Think Tank,” National Academy of Marine Research (NAMR), today (30 Dec. 2019), held a year-end symposium and press conference. Many guests from industries, government agencies, universities, and research institutes attended to the conference, including Minister of the Ocean Affairs Council (OAC), Lee Chung-wei (李仲威) and President of National Sun Yat-sen University, Cheng Ying-yao (鄭英耀). President of NAMR, Chiu Yung-fang (邱永芳) explicated NAMR’s achievements in detail since the provisional office was established. He also focused on the future perspectives, emphasizing the six main projects that NAMR will forge ahead on in the coming year. NAMR hopes to make Taiwan a world-class marine research nation.
Minister OAC Lee Chung-wei expressed his sincere appreciation to Prof. Chiu Wen-yan (邱文彥) and Prof. Chen Yang-yih (陳陽益), the former OAC vice minister, for their dedication to the establishment of OAC and NAMR. Lee also thanked the support and assistance from industries, universities, research institutes and NGO associations.
Lee encouraged NAMR to do thorough foundational investigations, such as hydrographic and ecological survey, and coast monitoring. He hoped that NAMR would make efforts on environmental sustainability, connect Taiwan with international community, and cultivate the talents for our nation. “Thanks to the hard work, it is great to have you here. Hopefully, in the coming year, NAMR will continue to offer much better contributions to the world,” Lee said.
NAMR President Chiu mentioned that NAMR was officially established this April after one-year provision. NAMR had held many international academic conferences and signed the memorandums of understanding with Lloyd’s Register UK, Asia Marine Mammal Stranding Network (AMMSN), and the Institute of Transportation (IOT). NAMR had associated big data from different sources to build a national marine database as well as a simulation system for marine plastics distribution. NAMR helped drafting the Ocean Basic Act and Marine Spatial Planning Act. It also helped reaching consensus for policies on marine culture.
As for the promotion of marine environmental education, nautical history and aboriginal culture, NAMR not only held lectures, trainings, and camps, but also made videos in public, focusing on the topics of cetaceans and white dolphins, marine culture and the sea migration from Taiwan to Okinawa. Besides, NAMR is planning to build a museum that will feature on marine resources. All these efforts are made in hope of providing different angles for people to learn from the beauty of Taiwan’s history and culture to environmental sustainability.
Currently, NAMR’s new facility was completed and faculty recruiting was almost done. Chiu emphasized that NAMR will forge ahead on 6 main projects, including 1. Ocean energy, 2. Ecological survey in offshore wind farm, 3. Promotions on policies and culture, 4. Hydrographic data collection, 5. Integrating AI to surveillance geomorphological change and land erosion, and 6. Developing sustainable marine industry. NAMR hopes to connect new marine technologies and create new blue economies.
In the press conference, issues of ecological conservation were also wholly discussed. Acting Director of Marine Ecology and Conservation Research Center, Chang Chih-wei (張至維) stated that NAMR had conducted preliminary studies on the conservation of cetaceans. In the coming years, NAMR will initiate further researches on the ecological environment, the underwater soundscape survey, and the potential pollution monitoring near offshore wind farms. NAMR will work with OAC Ocean Conservation Administration to benefit both ecological conservation and development of green energy.
Chairman of Taiwan Cetacean Society, Yang Wei-cheng (楊瑋誠) said that researchers are planning to collect relative baseline information before offshore wind farms are built. Researches on the number of the vessels, the sailing speed, and the sound of the offshore wind turbine will be incorporated with one another in the future. It is hoped that these scientific data can be served later as references for lawmaking.