Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Study finds ferry threat to Hong Kong dolphins
by Staff Writers
Hong Kong (AFP) June 5, 2012

A Hong Kong conservation group said Tuesday increasing high-speed ferry traffic is contributing to a dramatic decline in Chinese white dolphin numbers in the city's waters.

Research by the Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society showed that catamaran and jetfoil ferry traffic is displacing dolphins from their habitats in the mouth of the Pearl River Delta.

"Dolphins depend on sound to survive in their environment, they are acoustic creatures," society chairman Samuel Hung said.

"There is a lot of noise generated from high-speed ferries... this noise creates a lot of stress for the dolphins and can change their habits."

High-speed ferry traffic between Hong Kong, mainland China and Macau increased 76 percent from 1999 to 2011, according to the Hong Kong Marine Department.

"In particular, since the opening of six ferry services at the Sky Pier of Hong Kong International Airport in late 2003, the dolphin number has dropped dramatically in North Lantau waters," the society said in a statement.

Dolphins will not hear a high-speed ferry until it is as close as 100 metres (330 feet) away, giving them only around 10 seconds to react, Hung said.

As a result, dolphins were leaving their habitats and preferred feeding grounds in search of safer waters.

Numbers of Chinese white dolphins in Hong Kong waters have dropped from 158 in 2003 to 78 in 2011, with about 2,500 in the Pearl River Delta, the body of water between Macau and Hong Kong.

Earlier this year a Hong Kong conservation group set up a DNA bank for the rare sub-species, also known as the pink dolphin, in a bid to save the mammals.

Related to Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins, they are known for their pink or white skin. They are listed as "near threatened" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The mammal was the official mascot at the handover ceremony when the former British colony of Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997, while dolphin watching is a favourite tourist attraction in the city of seven million people.

Hung said plans to build a third runway on reclaimed land at the Hong Kong international airport would increase ferry traffic and place further strain on the dolphin population.


Related Links
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Marine reserves provide baby bonus to fisheries
Brisbane, Australia (SPX) Jun 04, 2012
An international team of scientists has gathered the first conclusive evidence that marine reserves can help restock exploited fish populations on neighbouring reefs which are open to both commercial and recreational fishing. The groundbreaking study was carried out in the Keppel Island group on Australia's Great Barrier Reef by researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef ... read more

Japan agency sorry for comparing radiation to wife

Lithuania launches regional nuclear safety watchdog

Italy's quake-struck north tries to reassure tourists

Ferrari auction to raise money for Italy quake

Artemis keeps talking the talk

Nintendo touts games for Wii U GamePad console

Microsoft links Xbox with smartphones, tablets

E3 to showcase big videogame titles, hot trends

Monsoon arrives in India, cheering farmers

Lesotho dams bring investment, at a cost

Study finds ferry threat to Hong Kong dolphins

Great Barrier Reef heading for danger: UNESCO

Peru needs glacier loss monitoring: dire UN warning

Greenland's current loss of ice mass

Old aerial photos supply new knowledge on glaciers in Greenland

Discovery Of Historical Photos Sheds Light On Greenland Ice Loss

EU farming reform caught in budget stalemate

France to ban Swiss pesticide as bee threat

Brazil farmers in legal feud with Monsanto over GM soy

Livestock industry beefs up Illinois economy

Hurricane season is here, and FSU scientists predict an active one

Unmanned NASA Storm Sentinels set for Hurricane Study

Toll of Italian earthquakes rises to 25

Japan city watches 'premonitory' signs for tsunami

Conflicts hinder Niger, Mali locust control: UN food agency

Somali soldiers train for urban combat in rural Uganda

Sierra Leone's gruesome civil war

Mali deserters in Niger face uncertain future

Monkey lip smacks provide new insights into the evolution of human speech

Stanford psychologists aim to help computers understand you better

New Mini-sensor Measures Magnetic Field of the Brain

University of Tennessee anthropologists find American heads are getting larger

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement