Samantha Lee, Senior Conservation Officer, Marine at WWF-Hong Kong said, “By showing the map to people of Hong Kong, we are telling everyone that we are not just living in a city, but one surrounded by a living marine aquarium. We have got a rich and diverse marine ecosystem surrounding such a small city, nourishing more than 1,000 species of fish, 84 species of hard corals, two species of horseshoe crabs and other marine mammals. At the same time, the map clearly reveals that most of the marine biodiversity currently has no protection and we strongly need them.”
The map was produced using the best available data from government surveys and research conducted by local experts (please refer to the Appendix for more details); and illustrates species’ locations and population densities using colourful photos and informative content.
“WWF is working hard to promote public awareness of Hong Kong marine biodiversity. This map is a brand-new public engagement tool for us, offering students, ocean lovers and the general public the privilege of exploring Hong Kong’s marine environment 24 hours a day, even if they don’t know how to dive!” Samantha said. She continued, “It is crucial that a larger number of bigger marine parks should be designated to protect our vulnerable marine ecosystem. Many important and sensitive habitats, and the species they support still receive little or no protection under existing regulations.” Since 1996, a total of four marine parks and one marine reserve have been established in Hong Kong: Hoi Ha Wan, Yan Chau Tong, Shau Chau and Lung Kwu Chau, Tung Ping Chau, and Cape D’Aguilar, but no new ones have been established in the last twelve years. Together, these parks and reserves cover less than 2 percent of the total area of Hong Kong waters.
There are 4 main categories on the map, covering twelve marine habitats and species. The interactive version can be viewed at:wwf.org.hk/marinemap. A printable version is also available for download on the website. To celebrate the map’s launch, WWF has initiated a “Love and the Ocean” photo competition co-organized with Baby Kingdom, which will help to further raise public awareness about marine conservation by sharing their love to the ocean . The top ten winners will receive a free glass-bottomed boat trip through Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park, during the visit to WWF Hoi Ha Marine Life Centre, where the winners together with a maximum of two of their friends or family members (aged over 5) can get a close-up view of the local corals and other marine life. The top ten photos will also receive special recognition and be integrated into the online version of “Marine Biodiversity Map”. The competition will end on 3 October and more details can be found at the above link.
Some Interesting figures:
1. Total area of
2. 84 different hard coral species thrive in our waters - even more than in the
3. Every winter, the intertidal mudflat at