Director of Marine, Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation,
Sham Wan beach on Lamma Island in Hong Kong is the heartland for endangered green sea turtles (Chelonia Mydas) because of its unique role as the only regular nesting place for their species.
Unfortunately, today the beach and the existence of green sea turtles themselves are dangerously challenged by many factors including copious amounts of marine litter; the failure of existing laws to protect the turtles, including travel routes to the bay and their nesting spots on the beach; excessive noise pollution generated by water sports and high-speed motorboats; and dangerous ghost nets left behind from fishing activities.
According to media reports, the last time the GST nested on Sham Wan beach was in 2012 when they laid over 550 eggs on the beach and all the eggs sadly failed to hatch.
Unfortunately, there has been no new sightings of sea turtles arriving or nesting on the shores of Sham Wan beach since 2012 save for several dead ones in the water and on the beaches of Lamma Island in 2016 and 2017.
According to “Wild Animals Protection Ordinance” of 1999, Sham Wan beach is off limits to anyone during nesting season: June to October. The penalty for trespassers is set at HKD 50,000.
Despite the government’s ban on access to the beach, no extensive patrol is deployed to ensure the ban is effective. Campers, hikers, swimmers and even games of football has been cited on the beach in the past and no person has ever been charged for violation of this Ordinance. In fact, on most weekends, Sham Wan beach is usually overrun with people from the various party junks that moor off the beach unaware of the delicate eco-balance that the beach plays in the life of the green sea turtles.
Please sign if you agree we should take responsibility for the debris that is rendering Sham Wan beach (coming from OUR plastic consumption habits) an unsafe breeding ground for the endangered green sea turtles.