WWF Hong Kong - Marine


 / ©: Adam Minu
WWF has and continues to maintain a variety of programmes and initiatives with the objectives of protecting vulnerable species and habitats, and bringing Hong Kong waters back to life. In addition to conservation, WWF-Hong Kong assists in reducing ecological footprint by promoting a range of sustainable consumption campaigns.

Background and Threats

Hong Kong’s amazing marine biodiversity, which includes around 1000 marine fish species over 80 hard coral species (more than the entire Caribbean Sea), has drastically deteriorated. The marine ecosystems face a barrage of threats that have had a destructive effect. Scientists have predicted that local waters are close to ecosystem collapse, which would have a disastrous effect on marine biodiversity.

Fish stocks have dropped drastically due to unsustainable fishing practices, inadequate regulations and a lack of marine protected areas continue to worsen the situation.

Taking actions and restoring our marine ecosystem is the only way to prevent a widespread collapse of fish stocks and achieve sustainable fisheries.
 / ©: Adam Minu
Port Shelter
© Adam Minu

Save Our Seas

In 2004 WWF-Hong Kong launched the “Save Our Seas” (SOS) campaign and a petition in 2008 aiming to protect local marine biodiversity, restore Hong Kong’s fisheries and create new sustainable jobs for fishermen.

Sustainable Fisheries

Overfishing remains the single greatest threat to marine life in Hong Kong waters. WWF emphasizes the importance of establishing and maintaining sustainable fishing practices in Hong Kong, and actively encourages local consumers to buy seafood products from sustainable sources. Regulated, sustainable fisheries will help to improve fish stocks while providing consumers with food that is healthy, and fished in an ecologically-responsible manner.

Regulating Fishing
A large contributor to the unsustainable fishing practices in Hong Kong is the fact that fishing is largely unregulated. Vessels are not required to have a fishing license, there is no limitation on number of fishing vessels and operations which continue to use destructive methods such as trawling. WWF maintains dialogue with the Hong Kong Government to properly address this problem and institute sustainable fisheries management.

Alternative Livelihoods
In order to maintain the economic stability of local fishermen, WWF recognizes the need to establish alternative livelihoods for those who make the switch from unsustainable fishing practices. WWF seeks government assistance in easing this transition by helping to convert their skills to new fields, making use of their marine knowledge to benefit the culture and economy of marine-based careers.

Seafood Guide

 / ©: WWF-Hong Kong
WWF encourages seafood lovers to consume sustainably-harvested seaood. Check it out in our Seafood Guide.

Marine Protected Areas

Marine protected areas are sanctuaries where fishing and other disturbances are not permitted. While Hong Kong has some marine parks some commercial fishing is still permitted in these areas. While country parks cover 40% of Hong Kong land, in which hunting is not permitted, marine parks cover a mere 2% in which commercial exploitation continues to destroy marine life.

Research by WWF and other groups shows clearly that fish populations are not recovering in marine parks, even after 10 years of protection. WWF urgently calls for all fishing to be stopped in our marine parks, and for additional spawning and nursery areas in Port Shelter and Tolo Channel to be similarly protected, with the aim to protect 10% of Hong Kong waters.
 / ©: Adam Minu
© Adam Minu

Reducing Pollution

Water pollution has long been a threat in local waters. The Hong Kong Government has taken some actions in recent decades, resulting in improvements to water quality in southern and eastern waters. However, the problem is worsening in western waters due to the increased amount of wastewater from sewage diverted and dumped in the area, in addition to increased pollution from the Pearl River.

WWF encourages the Hong Kong Government and local industries to effectively reduce harmful pollution output.
 / ©: WWF-Hong Kong
Reducing Pollution
© WWF-Hong Kong