Artificial reefs made of concrete barges and containers will be 'planted' in waters off Chek Lap Kok in an effort to help the endangered Chinese white dolphin. The $8.2 million project, financed by the Airport Authority and the Jockey Club, is meant to provide a remedy for the pollution caused by the airport reclamation. The Agriculture and Fisheries Department estimates the 7,000 cubic metres of reef will produce a fourfold increase in fish stocks and transform the polluted waters into feeding grounds for the dolphins. The department said there were only 1,000 white dolphins in Hong Kong waters. Between 79 and 105 sightings of the marine mammals have been made in Sha Chau and Lung Kwu Chau each quarter since October 1995. Thirty-two concrete barges and 42 containers will be sunk in Sha Chau, Lung Kwu Chau Marine Park, and the Chek Lap Kok airport marine exclusion zone to create the reefs. Work is due to start in February. Fisheries officer Albert Leung Wai-yin said: 'We are doing it especially for the white dolphins. The marine environment is polluted because of the new airport project. 'It is a kind of compensation.' All fishing, including trawlers with special licences to operate in marine parks, will be banned from the artificial reefs. Old cargo containers will be coated with cement to prolong their life on the sea floor to about 20 years. Work on the containers is under way in Guangzhou. In the past, tyres and old barges have been sunk at the Hoi Ha Wan and Yan Chau Tong marine parks for colonisation by marine life. More than 100 fish species have been recorded there. Friends of the Earth's assistant director Plato Yip Kwong-to welcomed the plan, but said the Airport Authority should move its aviation fuel refilling station from Sha Chau if it wanted to help the dolphins. Mr Yip said the department should also consider putting artificial reefs near the Ninepin Group, which have seen heavy dredging and dumping.