Taiwan to use DNA to protect whales, dolphins

February 1, 2010
Taiwan plans to use DNA from whales and dolphins as evidence to convict poachers and protect the endangered marine animals, an official said Monday.

Taiwan plans to use DNA from whales and dolphins as evidence to convict poachers and protect the endangered marine animals, an official said Monday.

The tactic is meant to outwit poachers who try to cover their tracks after catching whales and dolphins by cutting off the animals' heads, tails and fins, said Hsia Jung-sheng, an official from the Council of Agriculture.

"What they don't know is that the government has set up a comprehensive databank on from whales and dolphins," she told AFP.

"Using , experts can easily pin down the species of whales or dolphins even if the sample is just a scrap of meat."

Taiwan's coastguards last week discovered a haul of dolphin meat weighing more than 1.3 tonnes in the northeastern fishing port of Suao.

All species of and are protected by Taiwan's conservation law, and any person found violating the law faces a prison term of up to five years and a fine of up to 1.5 million Taiwan dollars (47,000 US dollars).

Explore further: 'Flipper' trainer against dolphin tourism

Related Stories

Japan urged to end cruel dolphin hunts

September 21, 2006

An international consortium of scientists is organizing a campaign to halt the annual Japanese dolphin hunts that are said to be extremely cruel.

Dolphin population at risk in Britain

May 16, 2007

A report from the Wildlife Trusts and an animal charity has found that commercial fishing in Britain is placing the regional dolphin population at risk.

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

4 million years at Africa's salad bar

August 3, 2015

As grasses grew more common in Africa, most major mammal groups tried grazing on them at times during the past 4 million years, but some of the animals went extinct or switched back to browsing on trees and shrubs, according ...

A look at living cells down to individual molecules

August 3, 2015

EPFL scientists have been able to produce footage of the evolution of living cells at a nanoscale resolution by combining atomic force microscopy and an a super resolution optical imaging system that follows molecules that ...

New lizard named after Sir David Attenborough

August 3, 2015

A research team led by Dr Martin Whiting from the Department of Biological Sciences recently discovered a beautifully coloured new species of flat lizard, which they have named Platysaurus attenboroughi, after Sir David Attenborough.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.