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Freshwater fish book hopes to reel in more awareness of endangered species

TAIPEI--A book introducing 52 kinds of Taiwanese freshwater fish and four new species was released yesterday by the government in an effort to raise awareness of the importance of protecting endangered native fish species.

The book, titled “Red Data Book of Freshwater Fishes in Taiwan,” was commissioned by the Forestry Bureau under the Council of Agriculture and took an oceanography research team five years to complete, said Forestry Bureau Deputy Director-General Yang Hung-chih.

The research group included marine biology professor Chen I-hiung from National Taiwan Ocean University and Kwang-Tsao Shao, a research fellow at Academia Sinica, Taiwan's top research institution.

According to the research group, including the 52 types of fish outlined in the book, there are now 270 kinds of freshwater fish in Taiwan, and 10 of them are endangered, Yang said.

During the island-wide scientific survey, the group also discovered the significant finding of four new fish species in the country, Yang noted.

In addition, the team also discovered that the population of endangered metzia mesembrinum in rivers on the outlying Kinmen County declined to about 5 percent, or 460 fish, of their usual numbers due to construction work near the river, said Tzeng Chyng-shyang, an associate professor at National Tsing Hua University.

Next month, the research team will travel to Kinmen as part of efforts to save the endangered fish, Tzeng said.

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