Cigu fish farmers protest high land cost in Tainan

2018/07/09 20:16:03 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Cigu fish farmers protest high land cost in Tainan

Taipei, July 9 (CNA) Fish farmers from southern Taiwan staged a protest outside the Executive Yuan in Taipei on Monday, calling on the government to help safeguard their livelihood amid its push for green energy development in the country.

Some 80 aquaculture farmers from Tainan's Cigu District held placards that slammed land developers for snatching up land and driving up rents while making available plots of rural land less accessible.

Yang Hui-chin (楊惠欽), the head of a coastal resources association who took part in the protest, said fish farmers in the area are the only aquacultural operators on Taiwan's west coast who do not pump groundwater into ponds where the fish are cultivated.

That ensures the sustainable use of water resources while minimizing soil salinization and land subsidence, he said.

But due to the low price of rural land in Cigu, developers have scooped up empty plots of farmland to put up solar panels, paying 10 times the normal rent, thus squeezing out fish farmers who have no way to compete in terms of capital, he said.

The association head also spoke of his concerns over the possible impact green energy development could bring to the area's ecology, which has been the natural habitat for the endangered Black-faced spoonbills, which migrate to the Cigu wetlands every winter to breed.

Yang said the protestors are not opposed to the development of green energy in the area but hope that the government can help do something about developers grabbing all the available land and driving up land prices.

(By Ku Chuan and Ko Lin)
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