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Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park, Hong Kong.



The Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park is one of the first batch of Marine Parks established in Hong Kong. It was designated on 5 July 1996.

Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park has lush coral communities. Most of the stony coral species recorded in Hong Kong can be found in this marine park. 100 species of reef-associated fishes have been recorded in Hoi Ha Wan.

In addition, records of wide variety of marine animals, like starfish and jellyfish, in the park further demonstrates its ecological significance.

A small mangrove community is located at the estuarine of the Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park. The mangrove community occupies about 0.53 hectares of area. Four true mangrove species including Kandelia candel, Aegicera corniculatum, Excoecaria agallocha and Bruguiera gymnorrhiza are recorded in this mangrove community. While two other true mangrove plants, Avicennia marina and Lumnitzera racemosa were also recorded in other mangroves sites in Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park. Mangrove areas are commonly act as nursery grounds for juvenile fishes and other intertidal and subtidal invertebrates.

Green Turtles:



Concerns:

Coral viewing activities, Fishing activities and tourism.



 

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Reopening of damaged coral park delayed by effects of cold winter
9 April 2008
South China Morning Post

The reopening of a coral shore in Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park, closed because it was damaged by sea urchins and snails, has been delayed until October because of the cold spell earlier this year, a marine conservation official said yesterday.

The area had been due to reopen at the end of next month after it was closed off in April of last year.

The official said the cold weather in February had lowered sea temperatures to less than 15 degrees Celsius, causing the still-recovering coral to be bleached, or lose its colour.

Edward Wong Cheuk-kee, senior marine park officer, said: "We have seen the damaged area recovering while the closure order has been in place. Unfortunately, because the recovery is still in its early stages, the cold spell reversed progress a bit."

Mr Wong said about 10 per cent of the coral clusters had been bleached as a result of the colder water.

To give the coral more time to recover, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department had extended the closure order until the end of October.

No vessels or unauthorised people are allowed into the closed-off zone. The order will be gazetted soon and Hoi Ha residents and green groups have been consulted.

The damage was first spotted in 2006, when about 100 coral clusters, in an area of about 100 square metres, were found to have been attacked by an unusually large number of sea urchins and snails.

Department officers were sent in to move 20,000 urchins and 10,000 snails from the area.

The department has not yet been able to ascertain why the urchins and snails had concentrated on that site, but it could be due to both environmental factors and the habits of the snails and urchins.

Clarus Chu Ping-shing, senior marine conservation officer with conservation group WWF Hong Kong, said that although the coral had started to recover, a fundamental imbalance in the ecosystem at Hoi Ha Wan made it more vulnerable.

Mr Chu said overfishing had caused fish stocks to decline in the marine reserve and that a lack of fish preying on other organisms, such as sea snails and urchins, would continue to put the coral at risk.

"This is not a healthy ecosystem at all. You just can't rely on administrative means to protect it," Mr Chu said.
 
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