October 2019
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IN THE COMMUNITY
Focus on marine conservation
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IN THE COMMUNITY

Many hard coral species face a serious threat to their survival in Hong Kong waters.
Many hard coral species face a serious threat to their survival in Hong Kong waters.


The Swire Trust is supporting a push by the World Wide Fund for Nature in Hong Kong (“WWF-HK”) for 30% of Hong Kong’s waters to be designated as Marine Protected Areas (“MPAs”) by 2030.

As a partner in the charity’s Sea for Future project, which aims to safeguard marine life in Hong Kong, to date the Trust has helped WWF-HK identify 31 areas of the SAR’s waters which merit special protection.

MPAs are areas of the sea where human activity is restricted for the purposes of conservation. The idea is to give marine life the opportunity to “rest” and replenish itself. At present, however, only 2% of Hong Kong’s marine area is protected in this way, compared to the 40% of the SAR’s land-mass that is contained within country parks or reserves.

Hong Kong waters are home to some 6,000 marine species, including critically endangered Chinese white dolphins, green turtles, horseshoe crab, Chinese bahaba (giant yellow croaker), and a rich diversity of coral types. However, many of these species are under threat from over-fishing, marine traffic, land reclamation, major infrastructure projects, and plastic pollution. For example, as few as 47 Chinese white dolphins are believed to remain in Hong Kong’s waters.

Besides stakeholder engagement, awareness-building and education activities, Sea for Future is focused on conducting in-depth historical research at key sites to better understand changes over time. By measuring what has been lost, the project hopes to establish what measures will be needed to protect marine ecosystems from further degradation.

The endangered green turtle.
The endangered green turtle. 

(Photo courtesy: Jürgen Freund)

A horseshoe crab at Shui Hau, one of the species’ key nursery grounds.
A horseshoe crab at Shui Hau, one of the species’ key nursery grounds.

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Swire News September 2019 issue
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