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Proposal put forward for combining two marine parks in Lantau

Posted in : News on by : Around DB Comments: 0

A proposal to combine two marine parks off the coast of South Lantau was put forward last Friday (November 24 2017) at the 65th meeting of the Country and Marine Parks Board.

Initially, the two marine parks were planned as separate parks, however the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) has now suggested that the Soko Islands Marine Park and Shek Kwu Chau Marine Park be linked into a single park of approximately 2,067 hectares, to be named the South Lantau Marine Park (SLMP).

The proposal was raised to facilitate the future management of the marine parks, including maintenance of its facilities, enforcement, and patrolling and implementation of fisheries enhancement measures.

According to RTHK, the proposal has been welcomed by WWF-Hong Kong conservation manager for oceans, Samantha Lee. According to Ms Lee, a larger marine park is likely to gain greater public support, as it would enable better protection for finless porpoises and Chinese white dolphins.

In a statement to Around DB and Life on Lantau, Ms Lee said, “We welcome the proposal of combining two proposed marine parks into one, as this area will be much bigger and can be established at the same time. A lot of scientific papers have already stated that large marine protected areas are much more conservation effective than scattered, small ones.

“Soko’s water is known to be the only habitat in which we can find both Chinese white dolphins and finless porpoises at the same time in Hong Kong. Also, the area in between Siu A Chau and Tai A Chau is known to have relatively good fisheries resources. As such, the proposed marine park is going to play an important role in conserving the marine environment and species. But more importantly, the government shall allocate many more resources to strengthen the enforcement in combating illegal fishing.”

Image: AFCD

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