FISHING
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CY Leung policy address 2016

Calls for HK$3.5 million angling zone in Tamar Park to be widened

The 200-square-metre area off Tamar Park is to open to the public in March next year

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 July, 2016, 1:39pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 July, 2016, 9:20pm

The government’s plan to use 200 square metres of Central Promenade to build a fishing zone should be widened, two members of a panel assessing the harbour’s development said on Wednesday.

Their comments came a day after the Leisure and Cultural ­Services ­Department handed a detailed plan to Central and Western District Council for a trial scheme first mooted by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying in his policy address in January.

The zone in ­Central will open to the public in March next year. It is at the tip of Tamar Park in Admiralty, north of the Legislative Council complex.

Workers will start installing it in October at a cost of around HK$3.5 million, with planned running costs of around HK$900,000 per year. It will have tables, wash basins and storage.

The government will make similar zones in Tsing Yi and at Pak Shek Kok Promenade, Tai Po.

But members of the Harbourfront Commission, a body ­supported by the government to oversee planning, development and management of Victoria ­Harbour, expressed doubts over the plan’s efficacy.

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Commission member Ivan Ho Man-yiu, an architect with the Hong Kong Institute of Urban ­Design, said the zone should be extended. Speaking on RTHK on Wednesday, Ho said he supported the pilot scheme but asked: “Is it possible to have these kinds of facilities in other parts of the ­harbourfront?”

“In other areas that are not ­restricted by the Protection of the Harbour Ordinance, could we consider building [piers] for ­people to fish?” Ho said.

Fellow commission member Kan Chak-fun, who heads the Hong Kong Sport Fishing Federation, said: “We go wherever there are fish, and we scatter in those areas to avoid accidents,” he said. “Real anglers want an angling area to be as big as possible. Some anglers have their own secret skills, bait or equipment that they might not want other anglers to know.”

Kan said fishing parks in some Southeast Asian countries have wider spaces and better facilities, such as artificial reefs on the seabed to attract fish.

But he said the government was heading in the right direction by designating zones in three areas to provide better facilities.