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Hong Kong’s marine environments: History, challenges and opportunities / Racliffe W.S. Lai, Matthew Perkins, Kevin K.Y. Ho, Juan C. Astudillo, Mana M.N. Yung, Bayden D. Russell, Gray A. Williams, Kenneth M.Y. Leung
Regional Studies in Marine Science, Volume: 8, Pages: 259 - 273
Swansea University Author: Matthew Perkins
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Located within the tropics, Hong Kong has diverse marine habitats which host a rich marine biodiversity(∼6000 known species). Its marine environment is, however, under considerable anthropogenic pressureand continuous deterioration from rapid population growth and constant coastal development. Thisr...
|Published in:||Regional Studies in Marine Science|
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Located within the tropics, Hong Kong has diverse marine habitats which host a rich marine biodiversity(∼6000 known species). Its marine environment is, however, under considerable anthropogenic pressureand continuous deterioration from rapid population growth and constant coastal development. Thisreview summarizes the present status of the marine environment of Hong Kong from the perspectivesof habitat loss and fragmentation, pollution, biological invasion, over-exploitation and climate change,which are the major threats identified by the IUCN to marine ecosystems. The Chinese white dolphinpopulation (Sousa chinensis; one of the two resident marine mammals in Hong Kong) is at a historic lowand continues to decline due to habitat loss through land reclamation, pollution, and intense marinetraffic. Much of Hong Kong’s coastal water is degraded by both substantial local and transboundarypollution from the Pearl River Delta, leading to eutrophication and harmful algal blooms. Exposure riskto introduced exotic species is high, as Hong Kong is both the fourth busiest harbour in the world andrelease of animals into the marine environment during religious ceremonies is a common practice of localBuddhists and Taoists. The high consumption of seafood has stressed fishery stocks in Hong Kong and itssupplying countries. All these impacts are compounded by the often insidious, but pressing, challenges ofclimate change, with warming temperatures and increasing acidity of coastal waters. Given these knownand emerging threats, Hong Kong serves as a living laboratory to investigate the impacts of both globaland local activities and, where possible, develop solutions which could be implemented globally.
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