China’s recent military exercises have prevented many fishermen from going to sea, and tourism and whale-watching activities are also affected.
According to reporters, many fishermen in Keelung complained about military exercises. It is currently the fishing season, so four days of being unable to go to sea cause them a lot of damage.
Fisheries Broadcasting Station said, “The Chinese People’s Liberation Army will conduct military exercises in the waters around Taiwan from 12:00 on August 4 to 12:00 on August 7. Please stay away from the shooting area for safety.”
Xiaoliuqiu is located closest to the live-fire drills. But, according to the Ryukyu Fisheries Association, it is only about five nautical miles offshore, so many fishing boats do not dare go to sea, and tourists cancel their trips.
July to September is the busy fishing season of the year. Missing a few days of fishing will significantly affect the lives of fishermen. A fisherman expressed that there’s no food to eat if they don’t go out to sea.
Not only are fishermen worried, but many whale-watching tourists are also afraid despite the extended distance of the whale-spotting tour from the military drills. A tourist said in bewilderment, “This kind of rehearsal happens when I come.”
Moreover, marine species are also severely affected. Lin Dongliang 林東良, CEO of the Kuroshio Ocean Culture and Education Foundation, pointed out that the vibration and noise from military exercises can damage the hearing of some marine species. As a result, they can even become disoriented and eventually run aground and die.
The sea surrounds Taiwan, and people live mainly on fishing. Therefore, people fear that China’s military exercises will affect the lives of fishermen and marine ecology.