The breezes of the Northeastern monsoon broughtup a strange gelatinous mass onto the beach of the Dongsha Islandlagoon. It was identified by Dr.Yu-Wen Chiu of the Kaohsiung Medical Universityas the egg mass of the diamond squid, colloquially known as the “Flying Squid.”This discovery suggested that the regions around the Dongsha Atoll National Park might bethe breeding grounds of diamond squids.
The diamond squid (Thysanoteuthis rhombus) is a large, annual cephalopod, and isdistributed in the tropical and sub-tropical seas of the 3 major oceans in theworld. It is found in depths 300 meters and above. Because of wide ranges of distributionof its populations and relatively few catches, very little is known about itslife cycle and behaviors. Floating egg masses of the diamond squid have beenfound on the ocean surface layers of Middle and Southern Japan; strandeddiamond squids and egg masses have also been found along the coasts near Taipei, Su-Ao, Taitung and Penghu.There have also been egg masses found in the southern waters of Indonesia’s Sulawesithat measured 2 meterslong and 15 cm in diameter.This is the first time that the eggs of diamond squids have been found on Dongsha Island, proving the existence of diamondsquid in nearby seas. Traditionally, researches on this species of squid werecarried out mostly by Japanese, since the waters in Sea of Japan and Okinawa are the fishing grounds of diamond squids. Muchis yet to be learned about the life cycle, migratory routes and populationdistributions of this squid in the territorial waters of Taiwan.
After the MarineNational Park Headquarters was established, the Dongsha Atoll Marine National Park has continued its task of restoringmarine/terrestrial resources and investigating / identifying new resources, andhas since yielded new discoveries through the efforts of its research staff.Due to the climate changes brought about by humans as the result ofover-exploitation of natural resources, conservation work is now more urgentthan ever. The establishment of a marine ecological preserve is just one of theconcrete actions of our care for Earth.
The source: Dongsha Atoll National Park