South Lamma | WWF Hong Kong

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South Lamma

© Kelvin Yuen

Conservation Significance

Sham Wan, located at southern Lamma and designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest in 1999, is the only nesting site for globally-endangered green turtles, whose last nesting recordwas in 2012. The anemone and coralcommunities inside Sham Wan andTung O Wan include locally-rare hard coral species (i.e. pseudosiderastrea
tayami
). These rocky reefs support a high diversity of species, with at least 73 marine fishes, including 23 locally rare species and the endangered threadfinporgy. The vulnerable Indo-Pacific finless porpoise is found off south Lamma. In 1999, the AFCD assessed south Lamma’s suitability as a marine protected area.

Threats


Human disturbances, including marine traffic and light and noise pollution, can prevent female green turtles from nesting. Entanglement in fishing nets
and accidental ingestion of marine litter are a common cause of turtle deaths.
The marine litter problem at Sham Wan is serious, especially during the wet season. Underwater noise pollution may further reduce use of the area
by the finless porpoise. According to a study conducted by an eNGO from 2013-2015, up to 17 boats were found anchored in the bay during summer weekends, generating high levels of noise. There are frequent reports of visitors entering the beach.


 
 

 

Suggested Conservation Measures

Designate South Lamma as a marine park and expand restricted areas. Control
human access at the sandy shore and nearby shallow waters to limit disturbance
to green turtles, particularly during nesting season.
● Restrict vessel speeds to 5 knots 5 over the entire bay to minimise collision
risk to turtles.
● Study the feasibility of a non-anchoring zone, banning trammel nets and
restricting the number of recreational vessels.
● Regulate activities such as scuba diving to reduce disturbance to vulnerable
habitats, with fishing and recreational boating regulated during breeding season.
● Implement weekly clean-ups of ghost nets and marine litter.