Ocean Park Conservation Foundation Flag Day

10 August, 2019

Ocean Park Conservation Foundation Flag Day

BU GreenieS (BUGS) volunteers joined the Hong Kong Island Region Flag Day organised by Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong (OPCFHK) on 10 August 2019, helping to raise funds to support OPCFHK's efforts in the local marine cetacean stranding response programme, scientific projects of local species and local community education programmes.

Since May 2006, OPCFHK has been collaborating with Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) to investigate the cetacean stranding cases in Hong Kong. Ocean Park also supports the Marine Life Stranding Response Team with technical expertise through their veterinary team and the Marine Mammal Department. The Response Team will attend the site timely after receiving a stranding report, to conduct necropsy on site or at Ocean Park, depending on the carcass condition, and collect samples for further examination.  In case of live stranding, OPCFHK will work with AFCD and Ocean Park to explore options of rescue.

As most of the carcasses were found highly decomposed, the cause of death for only 10% of the cases could be determined.  With previous data, the Foundation concluded the 3 major causes of death: 1)fishing net entanglement; 2)trauma by boat; 3)pneumonia, parasitism and bacterial infection.

To protect cetaceans, we must protect their habitat as well so that they can live in a safe and healthy environment. When you engage in coastal or water sports and activities, like boat trips, sunbathing and scuba diving, please avoid using shampoo and shower gels on the boat, to avoid untreated chemicals entering the sea and polluting the marine environment. More importantly, please do not litter on the beach and in the sea. As for fishermen and fishing enthusiasts, please dispose used fishnets and other fishery gears properly and do not abandon them in the sea.