At the opening and unveiling of the National Museum of Marine Science and Technology (NMMST) today in Keelung, Premier Jiang Yi-huah expressed hope that the public would become fully knowledgeable about marine culture through the facility’s entertaining educational exhibits.
The different wings of the NMMST are launching in stages, the premier pointed out: the main exhibition area of the museum opened its doors today, while the largest aquarium in Asia will be completed in 2017.
Highlighting the importance of marine education, Jiang said, “Taiwan is surrounded by water on all sides, but Taiwanese once had few opportunities to get in touch with the ocean because of past legal restrictions. As the nation has liberalized, however, the coastline has gradually opened to the public and even foreign tourists, with the exception of confidential areas.
“Taiwan is blessed not only with East Asia’s tallest mountains but also with its most abundant marine resources and ecology. It is important to preserve the assets our ancestors have passed down to us and allow our descendants to understand and feel affinity with the ocean,” he emphasized.
The Executive Yuan selected Keelung to host the NMMST because of its oceanographic conditions, the premier said. The city is surrounded by the ocean on three sides, has one of the best natural harbors in the nation, is teeming with island and marine resources, and is the home of the nation’s top marine research institutions: the National Taiwan Ocean University and Fisheries Research Institute.
The National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium (NMMBA) in Pingtung and the NMMST are both considered top-level marine education institutions by the Ministry of Education, Jiang said. While the former is extremely important for introducing southern Taiwan’s aquatic and marine resources and cultivating marine education among citizens, the latter’s main supports will be the National Taiwan Ocean University and Fisheries Research Institute. The premier expects the NMMST to bring marine education to the fullest, tasking relevant agencies with supporting the museum’s development, particularly through providing connecting transportation infrastructure.
Jiang viewed the NMMST’s main exhibition together with 30 indigenous students from Shangguan Elementary School in Hsinchu County. Their tour, which taught about Taiwan, the ocean and global warming, included prize quizzes as well as hands-on activities allowing the children to experience whirlpools and other features of the earth and oceans. The mood of the event was warm and happy, and the students gave the premier cards and drawings thanking him for leading them on an exceptional, rich and interesting scientific experience.