There are many reasons why the Chinese white dolphin (Sousa chinensis) is beloved by the Hong Kong people. At the top of the list: its pink colouring and its friendly nature.
The Chinese white dolphin was first recorded in local waters as early as the 1600s. The dolphins’ habitat spans the Pearl River Estuary, and is closely associated with the estuarine mixing zone between the river and the ocean.
The population inhabiting the Pearl River Estuary, including Hong Kong, is believed to number around 2,500 individuals. During the past few years, there has been a worrisome decrease in the number of young dolphins sighted in Hong Kong waters. These lower numbers could result in a decrease in the population in years to come.
In recent years, the Chinese white dolphin has been facing a number of threats: overfishing, water pollution and heavy marine traffic, along with coastal development. These threats have had a major and cumulative impact on the population for years. It is necessary to take a proactive approach in order to conserve the remaining population of the species before it’s too late.