Dolphins' demise inevitable

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 May, 2013, 4:19am

Stu Pryke's letter ("Neglect of workable survival plan has condemned dolphins", May 11) and the articles ("Iconic pink dolphins are disappearing fast", May 5) and ("Hong Kong 'must save its pink dolphins'", May 12) on the fast disappearing dolphins make very sad reading.

I guess the construction of the Chek Lap Kok Airport island was bound to impact on the environment in many ways, and the demise of the pink dolphins was inevitable. The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge is another disaster in the making.

Mr Pryke also mentions "the stagnant outcrop" of the Brothers Islands.

The complete razing of these two islands happened without consultation and with no warning at all. The 68-metre Tai Mo To (West Brother), and the 60-metre Siu Mo To (East Brother) were both levelled, very quickly, down to a height of about six metres above sea level.

A sad piece of wanton destruction, required we were told, to prevent interference by these two 60- and 68-metre hills to the approaches to the new airport. Nothing to do with the need to acquire reclamation material, of course. These islands are three to four kilometres east of the runway thresholds.

However, an ugly new island is now being built as part of the Zhuhai bridge project, immediately to the east of the Chek Lap Kok shoreline. This is right on the approach to the southern runway, and will surely have structures higher than the two former hills on the Brothers.

Before construction of the airport commenced, a planning decision was made that all applauded. The planned reclamation area was shifted westward by some 200-300 metres, in order to retain the natural eastern foreshore of the original island.

What magnificent foresight, we thought. However, this commendable decision has now been thrown into the rubbish bin with the construction along what is left of that original shoreline of the access highway from the Zhuhai bridge to the artificial island mentioned above.

Some of us proposed years ago that, if we must have this expensive link to Zhuhai, then put the section to the north of Lantau in a tunnel. Too expensive, said the engineers, and of course if your pet project is hidden from view, how can you puff your chest out and say, "Look - all my own work."

And as for the dolphins, it is a case of, "So long then."

Gordon Andreassend, Tai Kok Tsui