A deeper insight into marine conservation

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 January, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 09 January, 2004, 12:00am

The Chinese white dolphin, which inhabits waters around Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta, is threatened with extinction. To save this endangered mammal and other rare dolphin and whale species, the Ocean Park Conservation Foundation (OPCF) was established in 1993. It was aimed at raising public awareness of marine conservation.

The charity's annual fund-raising day will be held at Ocean Park tomorrow.

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, OPCF has joined forces with four Year Two, associate degree students from City University (CityU) to organise the annual Ocean Park Conservation Day, which is also the students' final-year project. On this day, all the gate proceeds will be donated to OPCF to support scientific research and environmental education and public awareness programmes.

The event features game booths by OPCF award scheme participants, marine conservation workshops hosted by CityU and Chinese University students and a children's talent show.

Local pop idols and OPCF ambassadors Edison Chen Koon-hei and Joey Yung Cho-yee will also attend the ceremony. More than 1,500 visitors took part in last year's event.

The student organisers hope that new attractions such as the workshops and talent show will lead to a 30 per cent increase in participants this year.

In the workshop organised by CityU students, the impact of detergents on the natural marine habitat will be revealed, while alternative cleansing agents will also be introduced. The other workshop will be about coral reefs.

'Knowledge about marine conservation is pretty shallow among most people. And we hope visitors could learn more about this aspect in an easier way through our activities and workshops,' said CityU student Heidi Yao Lai-yin.

In the talent show, students from seven primary schools and kindergartens will perform dances and dramas about marine conservation, competing for the top prize and the best teamwork award.

'We think we should nurture children's marine conservation concepts at a very young age,' said another CityU student, Jamie Liu Hong-yin.

'Even though they might not understand it at the beginning, it's good for them to have the idea that it's everyone's responsibility to protect the ocean.'

To celebrate OPCF's decade of existence, all 10-year-old children will enjoy a half-price entrance fee ($45) at the amusement park this weekend.