Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation,
The waters around Southwest Lantau and the Soko Islands were endorsed as Marine Parks in 2002, in recognition of their “importance as habitat for Chinese white dolphins and Finless porpoises”, and as “fishery and nursery spawning grounds for the conservation of fishery resources and building up of fish stocks” (from AFCD statement published in 2002).
In 2006 the AFCD stated that the endorsed Marine Parks were not gazetted in the years since 2002 due to “resource allocation” not being resolved. It is not clear what resources still need to be allocated in our cash-rich government, nor is it clear why no further progress has been made since this statement was made in 2006. It is now over 10 years since these highly important waters were proposed and endorsed as Marine Parks. Over this period, Chinese white dolphin numbers have declined precipitously as a result of multiple and rising threats to their habitat. What is the hold up?