Trying to save dolphins

PUBLISHED : Monday, 27 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 27 June, 2011, 12:00am

The Ocean Park Conservation Foundation will allocate HK$5 million to research that focuses on dolphins and pandas.

Deputy director Timothy Ng Sau-kin said the foundation had been working with the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department since 2006 on dolphin rescue missions. Whenever the department receives a call about a rescue, it contacts the foundation and the two groups send people out to the site.

Since 2006, more than 160 rescue missions have been mounted, mostly to save dolphins, Ng said. In some cases, the dolphins became tangled in fish nets or were hit by boats.

'One time a Chinese white dolphin was hit by a fishing spear. It was pink and beautiful. What a shame,' Ng said.

He added that in many cases dolphins are found to have died of natural causes.

The foundation will also focus its research on pandas on the mainland. Chairwoman Judy Chan Qing said rapid development such as railway construction is affecting the living environment of pandas in the wild.

She said the foundation will carry out research on young pandas. One project will monitor the growth and development of young pandas. The aim is to see whether pandas that grow up without parents develop abnormal behaviour.

Chan said the foundation had received 108 applications for research funds. It has finally chosen to support 41.

Programmes will also include taking students on dolphin-spotting trips off Lantau Island.


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