Don’t rubbish Hong Kong waters

The Marine Department says that the amount of trash collected from Hong Kong waters has more then doubled in the last 10 years, from 6,750 tonnes in 1998 to 12,900 tonnes last year. This excludes 15,500 tonnes that were collected at beaches.

About a quarter of that came from Aberdeen and Tin Wan, where fishing vessels unload their catches for the wholesale market. Apparently 600 tonnes were picked up off Central.

Lisa Christensen is director of Coastal Cleanup Challenge, which is an international event to promote ocean protection. She says that statistics from cleanup events showed that at least three-quarters of the floating trash was produced locally.

However Clarus Chu Ping-shan, a senior conservation officer at WWF Hong Kong also pointed out that some of the rubbish is washed down from the mainland in bad weather. He said “Whenever there are heavy downpours and the water current is right, [a massive amount of] rubbish will drift into the city. Much of it is foam, broken furniture, plastic bags and bottles with labels written in simplified Chinese characters,“. He certainly has a point, I’ve been out diving off Waglan after a week of heavy storms, and been amazed at some of the stuff that floats past, including a massive quantity of plastic flip flops. It’s usually in a large area of very muddy water and is presumably stuff that has come down the Pearl River.  Incidentally the muddy water tends to be a surface layer, and when you get underneath it the vis is often much better.

If you are a subscriber, you can read the story from the SCMP’s website.

About Neil Hambleton

I am a British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) Advanced Diver and an Open Water Instructor. I have been diving since 1992, after joining South China Diving Club (SCDC), which is a Hong Kong-based branch of the BSAC. Having moved to New Zealand, I am now a member of BSAC New Zealand.
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