Hong Kong waters are home to rich and extensive coral communities – we have at least 84 hard coral species in 28 genera, a diversity higher than the entire Caribbean Sea! However, Hong Kong’s incredible coral communities are also suffering from immense local environmental pressure.
The Tolo Harbour and Channel in the north-eastern waters of Hong Kong is a marine conservation priority site identified by WWF-Hong Kong. This area is an enclosed environment that used to harbour rich marine biodiversity until the 1980s, when a population boom and urban reclamation along the inner harbour devastated marine ecosystems and the marine environment in general. A decline in coral diversity and an 80% reduction in coral coverage in the mid-section of the Tolo Channel was recorded just six years after the first survey was conducted in 1980.
Once destroyed, it is very difficult for coral communities to recover independently. To protect these vital parts of our marine ecosystem and hasten coral recovery efforts, WWF-Hong Kong has launched the “Reviving Our Corals” initiative. Together with their collaborator, The Coral Academy from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), they are conducting coral conservation and active coral restoration work which will improve the survival rate and adaptive capacity of corals at priority conservation sites around Hong Kong. WWF is also planning to host a series of coral-related events at their Hoi Ha Marine Life Centre, during which the public can participate in coral conservation activities.
Hong Kong has a rich coral diversity, but it is under serious threat. Help contribute to coral conservation and protect our beautiful ocean!