Where will Chinese White Dolphins go to?

WWF worries further reclamation of Chinese white dolphins habitats

WWF is dismayed about the Hong Kong Government's plan to reclaim up to 100 hectares of sea off northern Lantau for the construction of Boundary Crossing Facilities ("BCF") for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge.
The proposed reclamation, a new idea clearly not included in the Revised Concept Plan for Lantau ("the Plan") published in May 2007 by the Government's Lantau Development Task Force. WWF worries that such uncoordinated proposal not only will deviate from the conservation intentions set by the Plan, but is incompatible with the sustainable development of Lantau, particularly to the Chinese white dolphins.

Cumulative impacts on Chinese white dolphins

The Chinese white dolphin has already been subject to intense disturbance to its habitat in Hong Kong . In the past 12 years, over 1,700 hectares of sea have been reclaimed within the relatively small area inhabited by the Chinese white dolphin ("CWD") in Hong Kong's western waters. Reclamation has not only caused a direct loss to the CWD's habitats, it also removes habitat for the fish on which the dolphins feed.
The cumulative impacts incurred by the past, present and future projects to the Chinese white dolphin are alarming. In addition to the Bridge, as well as CLP Holdings's proposed LNG terminal at Soko Islands, WWF is seriously concerned about the cumulative impacts of other large proposed engineering projects in dolphin habitat including a third runway at Chek Lap Kok airport, Container Terminal 10 and others.

WWF calls for a conservation strategy to protect Chinese white dolphins from further encroachment of habitats

"Our Government currently lacks a comprehensive strategy to assess impacts of development projects on CWD to ensure the continual survival of CWD in Hong Kong waters," said Dr. Alan Leung, Senior Conservation Officer of WWF Hong Kong. "The Government also lacks an overall policy to assess the cumulative impacts on CWD when considering reclamation works from infrastructure projects," he said.
If we continue to increase the disturbance to the long-lived animals such as Chinese white dolphins, at some point their population will go into serious decline in Hong Kong from which it may never recover. For a long-lived species such as CWD, a decline may not be easily noticeable. But once such a decline is discovered, remedies may be too late. Such a phenomenon has already happened to green turtles in Hong Kong.

WWF calls on the Government to:

  • avoid and minimize further reclamation of seas inhabited by CWD;

  • swiftly formulate a conservation strategy to protect CWD, a mascot of Hong Kong, from the various threats pushing them towards extinction;

  • adopt strategic planning for any development or reclamation work to be constructed within CWD habitats and assess potential cumulative impacts on CWD.

All information comes from WWF Hong Kong. More actions to save dolphins here.


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