Hong Kong 2006
Chapter 14:
The Environment
Administrative Framework
Pollution Prevention
Cross-boundary Cooperation
Legislation and Pollution Control
Air Pollution
Indoor Air Quality
Water Quality and Sewerage
Waste Management
Government Laboratory
Terrestrial Fauna
Marine Fauna
Legislation and Nature Conservation
Protected Areas
Topography and Geology
Hydrography and Oceanography
Meteorological Services
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Marine Fauna

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 waters.

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.

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