Hong Kong's own underwater treasures

We recently celebrated World Oceans Day, an annual observance to celebrate this planet's oceans and marine life, on June 8 at school. Students and teachers at The Harbour School showed up wearing blue in support of the cause.

 

In class, we had been discussing about the many challenges our oceans face and what we can do to sustain and protect the rich marine environment that we enjoy. Some of the challenges that my students have decided to undertake include stopping the use of straws and to bring their own bags when they shop.

 

Hong Kong: home to rich and diverse marine life

As an underwater photographer in my spare time, the question I get asked the most is if diving is actually enjoyable in Hong Kong. My students often ask if I get to see anything at all in Hong Kong’s water. My answer might surprise many, but it is, a resounding “yes!”.

 

Sure, you might not see schools of manta rays, but there are other amazing wonders to behold. With growing public awareness of the importance of protecting marine life, I have observed from diving in three waters over the years that the quality of Hong Kong water has improved significantly in recent years. Visibility in the water has increased and the range and diversity of marine life has grown.

 

Below are some pictures taken last summer on my dives in Hong Kong, off Basalt Island in Sai Kung. In the pictures I’ve posted, you will see a good range of soft coral in Hong Kong water which sustains various marine life, including goby, nudibranch, coral shrimps and seahorses. There is also one photograph of a Marble Ray.

 

I had the honour of being invited to the launch of World Oceans Day 2016 last week by Conservation International Hong Kong.  I was able to showcase some of these breathtaking underwater scenes at the Corals: Our Underwater Living Treasures exhibition.

 

There is an entire amazing world just under the surface, even in Hong Kong waters, which I know will surprise many of you. If you are interested to learn more about coral life and marine diversity in Hong Kong, do visit the exhibition which is held from June 9 to September 18 at the Maritime Museum (Central Pier No. 8).

 

The exhibition is open to members of the public. You will be amazed by Hong Kong’s rich and diverse coral ecosystem and the Coral Triangle. A series of workshops and public talks will also accompany this exciting and interactive display.

 

Get in touch with nature in Hong Kong

Hong Kong isn’t just a concrete jungle. More than 70 per cent of Hong Kong are country parks and it really has so much nature to offer. If you are interested in exploring Hong Kong’s nature this summer, here are suggestions of some places you can go:

 

1. Swimming and snorkelling:

2. Hiking and exploring:

 

Take up the challenge

Lastly, the G3 students and I would really like you to join us today in helping to sustain this beautiful and very fragile Eco-system in Hong Kong. Could you also join our World Oceans Day challenge today by giving up straws and shopping with your own bags?

 

 

 

 

 

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