ALMOST 100 paddlers took to the waters around Lantau Island on Saturday to raise awareness of the threats facing the endangered Chinese White Dolphins.
The group, including two young paddlers from Discovery College, started the 72 km journey from Tai Pak beach in Discovery Bay, home of organisers Lantau Boat Club, after a talk by Plastic Free Seas on plastic pollution and its impact on the dolphins.
The canoes navigated south out of the bay to the west of Peng Chau and Hei Ling Chau towards Cheng Chau. Conditions were calm and despite sighting plastic pollution and debris, the water was calm and the sun was shining. Many jumping fish were spotted in stages 1-3.
Lindsey Price, of the Naked Islands Project, said everyone was on the lookout for Chinese White Dolphins, known also as pink dolphins due to their colour, as they approached Shek Pik Reservoir.
“Dolphins appeared and were captured by photos, cheers and celebration to motivate the paddlers to continue their quest,” she said.
“Our dolphin spotters never gave up hope and it became apparent how lucky we were to see a total of 18 dolphins during the quest.”
Lindsey said the Chinese White Dolphin population is declining due to a number of threats.
These include the plastic pollution, overfishing, increased boat traffic and the construction and noise pollution of Hong Kong-Zhui Hau-Macau bridge and work around the airport affecting their habitat.
A total of $20,000 was raised to support the work of Plastic Free Seas.
Photographs courtesy Lindsey Price/Naked Islands Project