As the North Equatorial, or Kuroshio, Current flows north past eastern Taiwan, its clear, warm and steady flow nurtures a rich array of marine life, and brings in such salt-rich, deep ultramarine waters that it is often referred to as ‘the black stream’.
Hualien is the city closest to this uniquely warm current, and it was here in 1998 that the Kuroshio Ocean Education Foundation was established. Initially, the group focused on surveying and recording sightings of aquatic mammals and their behavior in coastal waters, though it soon shifted its mission statement to highlight ‘caring for Taiwan’s marine environment, ecology and culture’. In 2003 the Foundation launched a vessel which sailed around Taiwan to, for the first time, examine its coastal areas, generate debate and showcase a new marine vision for Taiwan.
Dedicated to promoting public awareness of ocean preservation to this day, in 2018 the Kuroshio Ocean Education Foundation launched ‘Sailing beyond the Blue’: a project to celebrate its 20th anniversary and once again survey the marine environment of Taiwan. The project collected large volumes of data, video and audio recordings, as well as sea water samples and polyethylene reports from 51 testing stations across Taiwan, soon to be analysed and published, and ran a series of educational activities.
For Taipei Biennial, the Kuroshio Ocean Education Foundation intend to enable visitors to see things that are often invisible to the human eye, or are simply inaccessible to those outside of the scientific realm. Video footage, reports and analysis, underwater audio recordings, sea water samples, sampling tools, and navigation charts are exhibited, and explored through lectures by Foundation members. In this way, attendees will learn about marine pollution and the crises affecting the ocean, and find ways of changing their own behaviour to benefit the state of our seas.
Established in Hualien in 1998
Sailing Beyond the Blue: The Beauty and Death of Our Territorial Waters
Speakers: Hui-Chun Chang (Executive Secretary, Kuroshio Ocean Education Foundation), Ray Chin (Underwater Photographer)
Venue: Ecolab 2F