Hong Kong's subtropical marine environment supports species of both tropical
and temperate climates. Local waters contain a wide diversity of fishes, crustaceans,
molluscs and other marine life, of which at least 150 species are of significance.
Set on the eastern bank of the Pearl River's estuary, Hong Kong receives fresh
water discharged from the river, especially in its western waters. The eastern waters,
on the other hand, are little influenced by the Pearl River outflow and are
predominantly oceanic in character. This unusual hydrography helps to contribute to
the diversity of marine life.
Despite being close to the northern limit for hard corals, Hong Kong supports
some 80 stony coral species. This diversity of corals is considered to be quite rich by
international standards. A variety of marine fishes also breed in Hong Kong waters.
Typical of the eastern waters is the red pargo, one of several sea bream varieties
whose fry are abundant along the shore of Mirs Bay in early spring.
Two marine mammal species can be found throughout the year. The Indo-Pacific
humpback dolphin, also known as the Chinese white dolphin, is the best known and
the other is the finless porpoise. The humpback dolphin prefers the estuarine
environment and inhabits the western waters of Hong Kong while the finless
porpoise lives in the eastern and southern areas, which are predominantly oceanic
To enhance inshore marine resources, the AFCD has installed artificial reefs to
enhance fisheries resources and biodiversity. The Marine Parks programme continues
to serve as an important scheme in protecting and conserving sites of special
ecological and conservation value.