Please sign the petition to save Datan Algal reef

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Please sign the petition to call on Taiwan's government to protect the precious Datan algal reef.

The algal reef is an important landscape that has potential to be a World Heritage Natural Area

A landscape with over 7000 years of history

A landscape with over 7000 years of history

Coral reefs grow approximately 1 cm per year, while algal reefs grow much slower at less than 1 cm in 20 years. The Taoyuan algal reef system has built up over 7500 years and is still thriving. It’s a priceless natural asset of Taiwan.

Unique reef environment

Unique reef environment

Across the world, there are many reef-building creatures with most of them being scleractinian corals. It’s very rare that reefs are solely built up of coralline algae. The algal reef coastline in Taoyuan is composed mainly of algal species called crustose coralline algae (CCA) and is quite unique among the world’s marine ecosystems. Because algal reefs grow extremely slow with CCA forming stacked layers over the surface of the reef, the reef is highly porous, making it home to many marine creatures.

Rich Biodiversity

Rich Biodiversity

The Datan algal reef is home to many marine creatures and has a very high biodiversity. It is home to an endangered coral species, Polycyathus chaishanensis, and is the breeding and spawning area of hammerhead sharks that are listed on the IUCN Red List of endangered species. The Datan algal reef is also part of migration routes and spawning areas of some migratory birds such as the Little Tern. A recent study recorded: Macroalgae: 49 species. Fishes: 34 species, 22 families
 Crabs: 52 species, 14 families Macroinvertebrates: over 50 species, 44 families, 8 phyla
 And many unknown marine creatures that await to be uncovered.

Taoyuan Algal Reef

The Taoyuan algal reef stretches for about 27 kilometers from Zhuwei Fishery Harbor in the north to the Yongan Fishery Harbor in the south (25°07′00.11′′N, 121°14′22.23′′E to 24°59′19.34′′N, 121°00′47.00′′E). The algal reef coastline is continuous. However, in order to discriminate different regions, we have divided the algal reef into different sections according to their neighboring town. From north to south are:  

l   Shalun algal reef (沙崙藻礁): from Zhuwei Fishery Harbor to Puxin River Estuary.

l   Xucuogang algal reef (許厝港藻礁): from Puxin River Estuary to Lao-Jie River Estuary

l   Chaoyin algal reef (潮音藻礁): from Lao-Jie River Estuary to the border of Dayuan District and Guanyin District.

l   Shulin-Caota algal reef (樹林草漯藻礁): from the border of Dayuan District and Guanyin District to Da-Ku River Estuary.

l   Baiyu algal reef (白玉藻礁): from Da-Ku River Estuary to Guanyin River Estuary.

l   Datan algal reef (大潭藻礁): from Guanyin River Estuary to Xiaofanli River Estuary. The Datan algal reef has the highest biodiversity.

l   Guanxin algal reefs ecosystem wildlife refuge (觀新藻礁野生動物保護區): from Xiaofanli River Estuary to Yongan Fishery Harbor.

The Green Tunnel (綠色隧道): from Yongan Fishery Harbor to the border of Taoyuan City and Hsinchu City. People living in Xinwu Town used to call this area the “Green Tunnel” and it’s a popular tourist attraction. Although most of the coast is gravel, it is mixed with growing algal reefs.    

Taoyuan Algal Reef

Datan Algal Reef

The reef with the richest biodiversity but faces the most serious threats.

Why we should protect the Datan algal reef?

The algal reef ecosystem can facilitate carbon sequestration

The algal reef ecosystem can facilitate carbon sequestration

The crustose coralline algae (CCA) in algal reefs can capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The 7500-year-old algal reef is an asset of Taiwan, as well as a precious treasure of the world. The algal reef ecosystem can help fight back against climate change.

Datan has rich biodiversity

Datan has rich biodiversity

The Datan algal reef is home to many marine creatures and has a very high biodiversity. It is home to an endangered coral species, Polycyathus chaishanensis, and is the breeding and spawning area of hammerhead sharks that are listed on the IUCN Red List of endangered species. The Datan algal reef is also part of migration routes and spawning areas of some migratory birds such as the Little Tern. A recent study recorded: Macroalgae: 49 species. Fishes: 34 species, 22 families
 Crabs: 52 species, 14 families Macroinvertebrates: over 50 species, 44 families, 8 phyla
 And many unknown marine creatures that await to be uncovered.

The construction of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal will put the algal reef coastline in peril

The construction of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal will put the algal reef coastline in peril

The CPC Corporation of Taiwan plans to build an LNG terminal in Datan. The total area of the construction plot is 891 hectares, stretching out to the sea. It will completely destroy the algal reef ecosystem. And groynes built along with the construction of the offshore port will endanger the nearby Guanxin Algal Reefs Ecosystem Wildlife Refuge and Baiyu algal reef. The government should correct inappropriate development policies and establish Datan algal reef as a nature reserve. We must preserve these valuable natural assets and save the ocean for us all as well as future generations.

The Datan algal reef is a major habitat of Polycyathus chaishanensis, a critically-endangered species listed by the Taiwanese Wildlife Act on May 1, 2017    

The Datan algal reef ecosystem is now facing the threat of complete disappearance

The Taoyuan algal reef coastline stretches for about 27 kilometers from the Nankan River in Zhuwei Fishery Harbor in the north to Da-Ku River Estuary in the south. It has been seriously damaged in the past 40 years. 

Threats mainly come from two industrial parks in Dayuan and Guanyin, the factories along the rivers, and the armor blocks and dikes on the coast.


In the early years, factories impudently discharged polluted water into the rivers. As the polluted rivers gathered, they polluted the estuary and the ocean. In recent years, the environmental protection awareness has risen and local residents formed river patrols to guard the rivers.  However, these unscrupulous factories continued to discharge polluted water via a concealed pipe secretly constructed in the night-time. As the government failed to supervise these factories, they continued to discharge polluted water lawlessly, and hence the injured ecosystem of the Taoyuan coastline has never had the chance to recover.

Despite suffering from polluted water for over 40 years, the Datan algal reef is still thriving with rich biodiversity. However, the algal reef ecosystem is now facing the severe threat of decimation due to the construction of the LNG receiving terminal by CPC Corporation of Taiwan. And therefore, it is desperately in need of us all to care for it and protect it.    

The Datan algal reef ecosystem is now facing the threat of complete disappearance

See the ecosystem of Algal reef

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